Let me preface this by saying IANAL.
It might be possible to think of your particular situation of adding mark ups to license text as providing a translation (although from text to Markdown, rather than to another human language), which is regarded as such:
Are there translations of the GPL into other languages?
It would be useful to have translations of the GPL into languages other than English. People have even written translations and sent
them to us. But we have not dared to approve them as officially valid.
That carries a risk so great we do not dare accept it.
A legal document is in some ways like a program. Translating it is like translating a program from one language and operating system to
another. Only a lawyer skilled in both languages can do it—and even
then, there is a risk of introducing a bug.
If we were to approve, officially, a translation of the GPL, we would be giving everyone permission to do whatever the translation
says they can do. If it is a completely accurate translation, that is
fine. But if there is an error in the translation, the results could
be a disaster which we could not fix.
If a program has a bug, we can release a new version, and eventually the old version will more or less disappear. But once we
have given everyone permission to act according to a particular
translation, we have no way of taking back that permission if we find,
later on, that it had a bug.
Helpful people sometimes offer to do the work of translation for us. If the problem were a matter of finding someone to do the work,
this would solve it. But the actual problem is the risk of error, and
offering to do the work does not avoid the risk. We could not possibly
authorize a translation written by a non-lawyer.
Therefore, for the time being, we are not approving translations of the GPL as globally valid and binding. Instead, we are doing two
Referring people to unofficial translations. This means that we permit people to write translations of the GPL, but we don't
approve them as legally valid and binding.
An unapproved translation has no legal force, and it should say so explicitly. It should be marked as follows:
This translation of the GPL is informal, and not officially approved by the Free Software Foundation as valid. To be
completely sure of what is permitted, refer to the original GPL (in
But the unapproved translation can serve as a hint for how to understand the English GPL. For many users, that is sufficient.
However, businesses using GNU software in commercial activity, and people doing public ftp distribution, should need to check the
real English GPL to make sure of what it permits.
Publishing translations valid for a single country only.
We are considering the idea of publishing translations which are officially valid only for one country. This way, if there is a
mistake, it will be limited to that country, and the damage will not
be too great.
It will still take considerable expertise and effort from a sympathetic and capable lawyer to make a translation, so we cannot
promise any such translations soon.