Freeness of current draft of GNU SFDLv1
The folowng is ann analysys of the DFSG freeness of the current draft of the
I was only looking to see if the problems with the current FDL are resolved
by the SFDL.
There may be new problems that I did not notice. I used Manoj's draft
to identify the problems with the FDL. (I have incluuded a more complete
analyis after that
first part. This more complete analyis may point out new problems).
==The "DRM" problem==
The text here is different. It is not clear that it fixes the problem,
but it is probably better than what the current FDL has.
You may not apply technical measures to obstruct or control the use or
copying of any copies you make or distribute, by those to whom they may be
The phrasing there makes it sound like intent behind DRM'ing is the key
If you "apply technical measures to obstruct..." that is a problem. It looks
like it might not be a problem if you apply those technical measures for
annother reason, but it just so happens to "obstruct..." then it is ok.
That is a very odd position to take. If that is what the FSF intended then
applying the techincal measures for reasons of compatability, etc. is not
a problem. However, that clause under this interpretation does not
require an unencumbered copy, which seems unlikely to be the intent
of the FSF.
So this one is still somewhat unclear.
The FSF really should rephase that.
==The "Transparent and Opaque copies" problem==
Problem is completely gone, due to an equivalent access clause equivalent to
the one in the GPL.
==The "Invariant Sections" problem==
Mostly gone due to no invarient section provision.
However, there are still some special restricted sections:
History, Acknowlegements, Dedications, and Endorsements.
The restrictions on those sections might just be acceptable,
but they do come close.
Point by point analysis of the licence.
==Sections 0 and 0a.==
These are preamble-style sections, so I will not go into detail on them.
They are however not as distinct from the main licence as the GPL premable
is from the GPL.
==Sections 1 and 1a.==
This all looks fine. (More or less)
This clause looks weird:
You need not include a copy of this License in the Work if you have
the work's license with a national agency that maintains a network server
which the general public can find out its license.
It does not seem to have any freeness problems though.
There is also the still questionable DRM clause, which is described
in more detail above.
That looks fine.
I will list the restrictions here and comment on each of them:
A. Use a title distinct from that of the Work, and from those of previous
versions of the Work as listed in the History section.
This should be acceptable as we allow name changes clauses, but it could be
if we needed to make a change to a manual.
B. List as authors (on the Title Page, if any), one or more persons or
for authorship of the modifications in the Modified Version.
C. Credit (on the Title Page, if any) at least five of the principal
authors of the Work
(all of them, if it has fewer than five) if the material derived from the
Work is more than 1/4 of the total.
That means that the author(s) of the modifications must be listed on the
Page, and 5 (or all if less than five) of the main authors of the previous
They avoid author list explosion because the maximum number of
previous authors that must be credited is 5.
So that is all fine, although it seems odd to require the name of
the most person(s) who made the most recent changes on the Title Page,
even if those changes were insignificant.
D. Prominently state the name of the publisher of the Modified Version.
E. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Work.
F. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modifications adjacent to
the other copyright notices.
G. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license notice
giving the public permission to
use the Modified Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown
in the Addendum below.
I have reported the lack of Addendum , and the problem with explosive growth
of licence notes to the FSF.
But those arenot freeness problems.
H. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
Reported weird inconsistancy with section 2 to FSF.
This is not really a freeness issue.
I. Preserve the section Entitled "History", Preserve its Title, and add to
it an item stating at least the title,
year, new authors, and publisher of the Modified Version. If there is no
section Entitled "History" in the
Work, create one stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the
Work, then add an item describing
the Modified Version as stated in the previous sentence.
Should be fine.
J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Work for public
access to a Transparent copy of the
Work, and likewise the network locations given in the Work for previous
versions it was based on. These
may be placed in the "History" section. You may omit a network location for
a work that was published at
least four years before the Work itself.
I guess that should be fine
K. For any section Entitled "Acknowledgements" or "Dedications", Preserve
the Title of the section, and
preserve in the section all the substance and tone of each of the
contributor acknowledgements and/or
dedications given therein. Acknowledgments and Dedications can be deleted
when a Modified Version
deletes all material to which the Acknowledgments and Dedications could
reasonably have applied.
Might be fine, but this is unfair to people other than the original author,
as they cannot
add new acknolegements or dedicacations except via Section 5. Reported to
L. Delete any section Entitled "Endorsements". Such a section may not be
included in the Modified Version.
Why can the modified version not include an ensorsment section? What if the
modified version is endorsed?
Reported to FSF.
M. Do not retitle any existing section to be Entitled "Endorsements".
N. Preserve any Warranty Disclaimers.
Those are fine.
Ok. I'm tired. I'll leave the last few sections to somebody else.