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1 definition found for GNU Free Documentation License:

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (27 SEP 03):

GNU Free Documentation License
        <legal> (GFDL) The Free Software Foundation's license
        designed to ensure the same freedoms for documentation that
        the GPL gives to software.
        This dictionary is distributed under the GFDL, see the
        copyright notice in the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing
        section (at the start of the source file).  The full text
        Version 1.1, March 2000
        Copyright (C) 2000 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
        59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
        Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
        of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
        0. PREAMBLE
        The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or
        other written 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. Secondarily, this License preserves for the
        author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while
        not being considered responsible for modifications made by
        This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that
        derivative works of the document must themselves be free in
        the same sense.  It complements the GNU General Public
        License, which is a copyleft license designed for free
        We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals
        for free software, because free software needs free
        documentation: a free program should come with manuals
        providing the same freedoms that the software does.  But this
        License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for
        any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it
        is published as a printed book.  We recommend this License
        principally for works whose purpose is instruction or
        This License applies to any manual or other work that contains
        a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be
        distributed under the terms of this License.  The "Document",
        below, refers to any such manual or work.  Any member of the
        public is a licensee, and is addressed as "you".
        A "Modified Version" of the Document means any work containing
        the Document or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or
        with modifications and/or translated into another language.
        A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter
        section of the Document that deals exclusively with the
        relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to
        the Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and
        contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall
        subject.  (For example, if the Document is in part a textbook
        of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any
        mathematics.)  The relationship could be a matter of historical
        connection with the subject or with related matters, or of
        legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political
        position regarding them.
        The "Invariant Sections" are certain Secondary Sections whose
        titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections,
        in the notice that says that the Document is released under
        this License.
        The "Cover Texts" are certain short passages of text that are
        listed, as Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts, in the
        notice that says that the Document is released under this
        A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable
        copy, represented in a format whose specification is available
        to the general public, whose contents can be viewed and edited
        directly and straightforwardly with generic text editors or
        (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for
        drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is
        suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic
        translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text
        formatters.  A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file
        format whose markup has been designed to thwart or discourage
        subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent.  A copy
        that is not "Transparent" is called "Opaque".
        Examples of suitable formats for Transparent copies include
        plain ASCII without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input
        format, SGML or XML using a publicly available DTD, and
        standard-conforming simple HTML designed for human
        modification.  Opaque formats include PostScript, PDF,
        proprietary formats that can be read and edited only by
        proprietary word processors, SGML or XML for which the DTD
        and/or processing tools are not generally available, and the
        machine-generated HTML produced by some word processors for
        output purposes only.
        The "Title Page" means, for a printed book, the title page
        itself, plus such following pages as are needed to hold,
        legibly, the material this License requires to appear in the
        title page.  For works in formats which do not have any title
        page as such, "Title Page" means the text near the most
        prominent appearance of the work's title, preceding the
        beginning of the body of the text.
        You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either
        commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License,
        the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this
        License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies,
        and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of
        this License.  You may not use technical measures to obstruct
        or control the reading or further copying of the copies you
        make or distribute.  However, you may accept compensation in
        exchange for copies.  If you distribute a large enough number
        of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.
        You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated
        above, and you may publicly display copies.
        If you publish printed copies of the Document numbering more
        than 100, and the Document's license notice requires Cover
        Texts, you must enclose the copies in covers that carry,
        clearly and legibly, all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts
        on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back cover.
        Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify you as the
        publisher of these copies.  The front cover must present the
        full title with all words of the title equally prominent and
        visible.  You may add other material on the covers in
        addition.  Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long
        as they preserve the title of the Document and satisfy these
        conditions, can be treated as verbatim copying in other
        If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to
        fit legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as
        fit reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest
        onto adjacent pages.
        If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document
        numbering more than 100, you must either include a
        machine-readable Transparent copy along with each Opaque copy,
        or state in or with each Opaque copy a publicly-accessible
        computer-network location containing a complete Transparent
        copy of the Document, free of added material, which the
        general network-using public has access to download
        anonymously at no charge using public-standard network
        protocols.  If you use the latter option, you must take
        reasonably prudent steps, when you begin distribution of
        Opaque copies in quantity, to ensure that this Transparent
        copy will remain thus accessible at the stated location until
        at least one year after the last time you distribute an Opaque
        copy (directly or through your agents or retailers) of that
        edition to the public.
        It is requested, but not required, that you contact the
        authors of the Document well before redistributing any large
        number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an
        updated version of the Document.
        You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document
        under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that
        you release the Modified Version under precisely this License,
        with the Modified Version filling the role of the Document,
        thus licensing distribution and modification of the Modified
        Version to whoever possesses a copy of it.  In addition, you
        must do these things in the Modified Version:
        A. Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title
        distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous
        versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the
        History section of the Document).  You may use the same title
        as a previous version if the original publisher of that
        version gives permission.
        B. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or
        entities responsible for authorship of the modifications in
        the Modified Version, together with at least five of the
        principal authors of the Document (all of its principal
        authors, if it has less than five).
        C. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the
        Modified Version, as the publisher.
        D. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document.
        E. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications
        adjacent to the other copyright notices.
        F. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license
        notice giving the public permission to use the Modified
        Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown in
        the Addendum below.
        G. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant
        Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document's
        license notice.
        H. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
        I. Preserve the section entitled "History", and its title, and
        add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new
        authors, and publisher of the Modified Version as given on the
        Title Page. If there is no section entitled "History" in the
        Document, create one stating the title, year, authors, and
        publisher of the Document as given on its Title Page, then add
        an item describing the Modified Version as stated in the
        previous sentence.
        J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the
        Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the
        Document, and likewise the network locations given in the
        Document for previous versions it was based on. These may be
        placed in the "History" section. You may omit a network
        location for a work that was published at least four years
        before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of
        the version it refers to gives permission.
        K. In any section entitled "Acknowledgements" or
        "Dedications", preserve the section's title, and preserve in
        the section all the substance and tone of each of the
        contributor acknowledgements and/or dedications given therein.
        L. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document,
        unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers
        or the equivalent are not considered part of the section
        M. Delete any section entitled "Endorsements".  Such a section
        may not be included in the Modified Version.
        N. Do not retitle any existing section as "Endorsements" or to
        conflict in title with any Invariant Section.  If the Modified
        Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that
        qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied
        from the Document, you may at your option designate some or
        all of these sections as invariant.  To do this, add their
        titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modified
        Version's license notice.  These titles must be distinct from
        any other section titles.
        You may add a section entitled "Endorsements", provided it
        contains nothing but endorsements of your Modified Version by
        various parties--for example, statements of peer review or
        that the text has been approved by an organization as the
        authoritative definition of a standard.
        You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover
        Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to
        the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified
        Version.  Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of
        Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made
        by) any one entity.  If the Document already includes a cover
        text for the same cover, previously added by you or by
        arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf
        of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one,
        on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added
        the old one.
        The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this
        License give permission to use their names for publicity for
        or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modified Version.
        You may combine the Document with other documents released
        under this License, under the terms defined in section 4 above
        for modified versions, provided that you include in the
        combination all of the Invariant Sections of all of the
        original documents, unmodified, and list them all as Invariant
        Sections of your combined work in its license notice.
        The combined work need only contain one copy of this License,
        and multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with
        a single copy.  If there are multiple Invariant Sections with
        the same name but different contents, make the title of each
        such section unique by adding at the end of it, in
        parentheses, the name of the original author or publisher of
        that section if known, or else a unique number. Make the same
        adjustment to the section titles in the list of Invariant
        Sections in the license notice of the combined work.
        In the combination, you must combine any sections entitled
        "History" in the various original documents, forming one
        section entitled "History"; likewise combine any sections
        entitled "Acknowledgements", and any sections entitled
        "Dedications". You must delete all sections entitled
        You may make a collection consisting of the Document and other
        documents released under this License, and replace the
        individual copies of this License in the various documents
        with a single copy that is included in the collection,
        provided that you follow the rules of this License for
        verbatim copying of each of the documents in all other
        You may extract a single document from such a collection, and
        distribute it individually under this License, provided you
        insert a copy of this License into the extracted document, and
        follow this License in all other respects regarding verbatim
        copying of that document.
        A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other
        separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume
        of a storage or distribution medium, does not as a whole count
        as a Modified Version of the Document, provided no compilation
        copyright is claimed for the compilation.  Such a compilation
        is called an "aggregate", and this License does not apply to
        the other self-contained works thus compiled with the
        Document, on account of their being thus compiled, if they are
        not themselves derivative works of the Document.
        If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to
        these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less
        than one quarter of the entire aggregate, the Document's Cover
        Texts may be placed on covers that surround only the Document
        within the aggregate.  Otherwise they must appear on covers
        around the whole aggregate.
        8. TRANSLATION
        Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may
        distribute translations of the Document under the terms of
        section 4.  Replacing Invariant Sections with translations
        requires special permission from their copyright holders, but
        you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections
        in addition to the original versions of these Invariant
        Sections.  You may include a translation of this License
        provided that you also include the original English version of
        this License.  In case of a disagreement between the
        translation and the original English version of this License,
        the original English version will prevail.
        9. TERMINATION
        You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the
        Document except as expressly provided for under this
        License.  Any other attempt to copy, modify, sublicense or
        distribute the Document is void, and will automatically
        terminate your rights under this License.  However, parties who
        have received copies, or rights, from you under this License
        will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
        parties remain in full compliance.
        The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions
        of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time.  Such
        new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version,
        but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.
        See here (
        Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version
        number.  If the Document specifies that a particular numbered
        version of this License "or any later version" applies to it,
        you have the option of following the terms and conditions
        either of that specified version or of any later version that
        has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software
        Foundation.  If the Document does not specify a version number
        of this License, you may choose any version ever published
        (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation.
        End of full text of GFDL.

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