This is a comment page for the Default LDP Wiki Licence page, that is, the licence for any page with no specific licence and also for any new or updated HOWTO, as far as possible. See also the LDP manifesto and the GNU licence comment page.



Accepted licences

Please, don't change this section. If in doubt, the LDP official licence page is the only official reference.

If, for a reason, you want to use an other than the default LDP licence, we can examine your arguments. Ask on the discuss list. Known to be acceptable licences are:


The LDP Web site has many pages that are not Linux documentation, but basic management of the LDP project. These pages can be open for writing (eventually), but must have some sort of licence. The same applies for HOWTOs written from scratch on the wiki with no explicit licence, or to HOWTOs where the authors agree with this default licence.

The LDP default licence is exactly the copy of the relevant paragraph of the GNU Free Documentation Licence HOWTO by Richard Stallman, with NO invariant sections NOR cover section.

LDP licensing workflow

The LDP urges all the authors to use the default licence. We have discussed at length (see one important coment here) the licence problem. Authors frequently give up after some years, and we have to allow new authors to take over. Main distributions (for example Debian, but other also) are very picky about what kind of licence can use the included documents, and it's of primary interest for us to be included in as many as possible distributions.

However, we will examine with great interest any document proposed by any author with special licensing.

GNU Free Documentation License

Deprecated licences

In the past, LDP accepted the following terms. This lead us to numerous problems, so please don't use any other licence than the above one, unless you have very compelling reasons.


Anyone may copy and distribute (sell or give away) LDP documents (or other LDP works), in any media and/or format. No fees need be paid to the authors. It is not required that the documents be modifiable, but is encouraged.

You can come up with your own licence terms that satisfy these conditions, or you can use a previously prepared licence. The LDP has a boilerplate licence you can use if you wish. Some people like to use the GPL, while others write their own. There is a special GNU licence just for documents, and this may turn out to be a good choice ("The GNU Free Documentation License v. 1.2").

You can also use a Creative Commons BY-SA or Creative Commons BY licence.

The copyright notice for each document should be in the name of the principal authors. "The Linux Documentation Project" isn't a formal entity, and thus can't be used as a copyright owner.


Suitable only for documents originally written with Docbook or Linuxdoc (original boilerplate LDP licence).

Here is a sample copyright notice and "boilerplate" licence you may want to use for your work:

Copyright (c) 2008 by John Doe (change to your name)

Please freely copy and distribute (sell or give away) this document in any format. It's requested that corrections and/or comments be fowarded to the document maintainer. You may create a derivative work and distribute it provided you:

  1. Send your derivative work (in the most suitable format such as SGML) to the LDP (Linux Documentation Project) or the like for posting on the Internet. If not the LDP, then let the LDP know where it is available.
  2. License the derivative work with this same licence, or use GPL. Include a copyright notice and at least a pointer to the license used.
  3. Give due credit to previous authors and major contributors.

If you're considering making a derivative work other than a translation, it's requested that you discuss your plans with the current maintainer.

LdpWikiDefaultLicence/comments (last edited 2008-10-31 15:38:26 by jdd)