Been researching into the legalities of compiling lots of related Wikipedia content into an sellable ebook. As far as I can tell this is legally OK to do as long as all the content is either licensed under the 'GNU Free Documentation License' or is in the public domain.
Anyone know about the legalities of this that could explain it in plain english? I've read the 'GFDL' article from Wikipedia but I'm not sure I completely understand it. Thanks...
It sounds like you're wanting to "write" a book, using GNU-licensed content. But part of the GNU license requirements are that you only charge fees sufficient to cover the costs of transmitting the material.
In short, it appears to me that you can't make a profit from your ebook; you can only charge enough to cover your own costs.
If you are unable to understand the intracasies as written of the FDL as written in the license, I would recommend that you avoid publishing FDL content.
You should also understand that once you sell that ebook to someone else, they have full rights to redistribute it under the FDL. I can buy a copy from you and give it to all my friends. I can even sell it on my own website.
If you put any sort of DRM on it, you would certainly be in violation of the spirit of the FDL if not the legal limitations.
Msg#: 2180 posted 11:57 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)
>But part of the GNU license requirements are that you only charge fees sufficient to cover the costs of transmitting the material.<
Sorry if I've got this wrong, but where does it actually say this in the licence?
To me the first sentence of the licence implies that you are allowed to sell GNU material commercially:
"The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document free in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially"
Distributing it without a profit would be non-commercial, so surely the "commercially" part means a profit can be made on distributions?