Re: Gnus Manual License
Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> writes:
> On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 11:34:13 +0200, David Kastrup <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
>> If I were in the position of a Debian maintainer (which I am not), I
>> would consider GFDLed documentation with the standard GNU project
>> cover texts in their _current_ form sufficient for inclusion into
>> main as long as no invariant sections are involved.
> This would be enough to get the package removed from main by
> the FTP masters: the general resolution that was passed (by a 3:1
> super majority) has moved such decisions out of individual hands;
> deciding to include these cover texts would not be a violation of the
> social contract.
I presume you mean "would be".
I am afraid that the vote was rigged in that respect. There was no
option to a) permit cover texts but no invariant sections, b) permit
reasonable cover texts, c) leave things to the judgment of the package
All that was possible to vote on is a) permit any use of GFDL into
main, b) permit no use of GFDL in main, c) permit use of GFDL into
main without any front covers, back covers, invariable sections.
So there was no option at all that would have catered to the fact that
the GFDL _can_ be used to effectively render documentation unusable
for free purposes downstream, but generally isn't. A similar thing
could be achieved by a copyright notice (which may not be legally
removed in most jurisdictions regardless of license choice) that
details affected lines spelled out verbatim and the respective
contributor for every single change.
This would be an excessively silly thing to do, and if it was done
with the intent of making it impossible to produce a printed manual
with a reasonable use of paper, it would appear reasonable for the
respective maintainer to designate such stuff away from Debian main
and into unfree.
However, concerning the GFDL, the vote was put up in a manner that
refuses to discriminate between appropriate use and utter abuse of the
GFDL's provisions for cover texts.
Given that the Debian community was not even given an option that
would have been able to discriminate between license use and license
abuse, I find it somewhat distasteful to suggest that the community
had preferred the outcome over an option that was not even made
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum