Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> I had a discussion with a DD friend on the GFDL; and we both felt that
> I should share my views with the list. What follows is slightly
> modified text of one of my messages on the subject.
> > I do not agree with RMS on GFDL. It is too restrictive on
> But I do.
> > transparent copies. The debian position statement, nicely sums up
> > all the issues.
> And I agree with that also.
> Did I hear somebody say`huh?'?
> The point is that there are very valid arugments in favour of, and
> against, GFDL's (degree of) freeness. GFDL suits the way FSF wants to
> do things; but does not suit the Debian way.
Well, to some extent, that's true. Parts of the FSF don't think it suits
the way they should do things either, of course.
> For the FSF, freedom is the message, and has to be conveyed. FSF's
> invariant clauses speak of free software and how users' rights are
> affected by software. FSF is not, should not (and justifiably so)
> concerned with, or can control what other people who use the GFDL (NOT
> FSF's GFDL'd work) put in their invariant clauses.
I just wish they didn't promote it for other people. :-( Frankly, I'd be
willing to accept it as a special FSF license for some things, but not as
"The GNU Free Documentation License".
> Several people in Debian (and outside it too) have other problems with
> the GFDL. Such opinion typically is that the GFDL obstructs further
> copying of the copies you *make*. These people think the GFDL is
> written in English, which is a mistake.
> If you read the GFDL in legalese, (and that is what a court will do,
> if a dispute arises), you will realise that the GFDL does not oblige
> me to allow people access to a copy of a GFDL'd document I made for my
> use. Therefore, I am justified in things like using an encrypted
> filesystem to store GFDL'd document.
We're quite unsure about that. You a lawyer? :-) It's a drafting error,
to be sure, but I wouldn't be comfortable relying on courts to rule that it
means what we want it to mean. Especially not in all possible cases!
The SystemC license, which came up recently, is written in legalese. But I
can read it. :-)
> FSF sees documentation as a vehicle to carry its message.
> Debian sees documentation as a vehicle to carry technical information.
I think you have a point. However, some people in the FSF see it as a
vehicle to carry technical information too.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
- Re: GFDL
- From: "Mahesh T. Pai" <email@example.com>