[erlang-questions] Erlang documentation cleanup (PREV: R13B01modules, quick reference)

Ulf Wiger ulf.wiger@REDACTED
Tue Aug 11 18:15:42 CEST 2009

Michael Turner wrote:
> Under this interpretation, if you copy the documentation and improve it
> (even if only by making it more searchable and navigable, as you have),
> Ericsson, if properly credited, isn't harmed.  Ericsson is actually
> helped, in a way, because some people might attribute the enhanced
> navigability to Ericsson, if they didn't know any better.  So let's
> say some supposed copyright infringement action went all the way to
> court.  The judge would probably shrug and say to Ericsson, "Well, you
> guys left it ambiguous, with this sloppy EPL you drafted, but now
> you're complaining?  After somebody actually did you a *favor* under
> those ambiguous terms?  Case dismissed!"
> Aren't you relieved?

That was basically what I was aiming at. The EPL says it's
ok to copy, modify and re-distribute the source, as long as
you credit Ericsson for the original (a one-liner will surely
suffice). It says it's /not/ ok to modify and keep it
proprietary or distribute under a more limiting license than
the EPL.

As for the generated docs falling under this license, I say
they do. Since all you have to do to be safe is to credit
Ericsson and use a good Open Source license, there's no
reason not to. License or not, this is in the spirit of
Open Source, and you are doing a good deed.

There haven't been many cases where Ericsson representatives
have had reason to complain about uses in the Erlang world.
There was a case of someone using the Ericsson logo on a web
page without their permission (not related to Erlang or the EPL),
and another case where the docs were included in teaching material
without giving due credit.

Of course, I don't work for Ericsson, so if they say different,
they are the ones you should listen to. :)

Ulf W
Ulf Wiger
CTO, Erlang Training & Consulting Ltd

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