At 12:41 AM 28/11/2009, mathieu jacquet wrote:

>Dear all,
>is there any "rule" about how to mention open source software in technical 

"Open source" means that the source code of the software is available to anyone 
under a licence. Its terms and restrictions apply to the usage of the *source 
code* of that software (compiling it into your own software products), not to 
the usage of binaries. 

If you have used an open source toolkit to develop the documentation then it is 
good manners to include a colophon acknowledging that usage and providing a URL 
to the main page of the project.  It is not a legal requirement.  

>The software I am currently documenting (MashUp Composer) requires from users 
>that they run a database creation script. To do so, they need to launch a DB 
>administration tool such as MySQL Administrator and MySQL Qury Browser to set 
>user privileges, create the required DB schema, run the script, etc. 
>How would you recommend to present things? 

As above.  However, since MySQL is now owned by one of the proprietary software 
"heavies", you should read the licences of those applications to find out 
whether Oracle has any legal requirement regarding the use of the *trademark* 
in documentary references.

>Can I say, for example: Launch your favorite DB administration tool (for 
>example MySQL Administrator).
>Am I supposed to add copyright mentions for open source software?

Don't confuse copyright (which affects the re-use of *written* content and is 
statutory and governed by international treaties) with trademark usage rules, 
nor with licence requirements (which are unilateral rules stated by the vendor 
of the software, to which you agree when installing or compiling that 

-- If you are re-quoting written content from MySQL manuals in your works then 
you must, under copyright law, acknowledge the source, just as you must do with 
regard to any other publication from which you lift content.  Whether you do 
this using footnotes or a References section (or a combination of both) is up 
to you.

-- If you are quoting the name of a product in your documentation then you 
*might* be required to tag the name with the "registered trademark" symbol (the 
letter R in a circle, usually superscribed) or the "trademark applied for" 
symbol (the letters TM in upper case, usually superscribed).  If nothing is 
mentioned to this effect in your licence agreement then don't include them.  


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