Licensing of documentation

Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) joe.armstrong@REDACTED
Tue Jun 28 09:13:11 CEST 2005

> I'm looking for "free as in freedom" documentation on Erlang 
> to use as a
> starting point for a project.

What does "free as in freedom" mean? free is an adjective and freedom a noun?

> I'm assuming that Prentice Hall still has the copyright to "Concurrent
> Programming in Erlang - Part 1".  Is this true ?

Yes. Prentice hall retain the copyright by they have allowed
us to freely distribute part I of the book. 

> What is the copyright status of the Erlang 4.7.3 Reference 
> Manual dated
> Feb 9th, 1999 ?  The introduction says it "should be useful 
> as a basis for
> a future international standardization" which hints at openess, but I
> cannot find any copyright statement.

Following the Bern copyright convention virtually all material produced 
after 1 April 1989 is implicitly copyright whether or not it has a copyright notice.

The copyright symbol and text merely strengthens the protection. 

The concepts of "openness" and "copyright" are not the same.

Anyway what is interesting is what you can do with a document.

If something has no explicit copyright and no license then:

	- the copyright is implicit
	- "fair use" applies ie you can quote from and comment on the text
	  there is a lot written about fasir use elsewhere

If something has an explicit license then this may or may not give you greater rights than
the "fair use" rights implied by the copyright.

As regards the Erlang reference manual the latest version is 5.4.8 and it has an 
explicit copyright.

It should be part of the open source Erlang release and as such be covered by
the Erlang public License.

Has some general blurb about the license status of Erlang and to the material you will find on the site.

It is the intention that everything on the web site is covered by the 
Erlang Public License - otherwise it would not be on the site




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