Re: Poll results: User views on the FDL issue
John H. Robinson, IV wrote:
debian-user dropped, because I don't read that list.
Fine, but please cc replies because I'm not on the debian-project list.
I accept this vote regarding "Free Software," but I don't accept your
implicit re-definition of the word "software" to include documentation.
No one is redefining documentation, nor software.
This is very simple: software is the logical bits. Documentation is the
paper that you hold in your hand. This is why the GFDL is a poor
*software* license, because it applies to paper.
Sometimes, those books get translated to a software form. Sometimes,
software gets translated to a document form.
Remember when cryptographic software was not allowed to be exported from
the USA? Software (PGP in specific) was translated into documentation,
exported (legally!) then re-translated into software.
Use the GFDL to license your documentation. Use the GPL to license the
software translation of your documentation.
Documentation that can be machine translated into software is just a
higher level of software, so a software license should still be sufficient.
Documentation is generally more than software, by definition, and the
GFDL enforces a distinction so that the documentation remains separable
from any software or format. It's not quite the same thing as saying it
"applies to paper" as I read it.
If Debian explicitly states for licensing purposes, that software and
documentation are considered equivalent, and that the same definition of
"free" must be applied to both, then that's a different matter and it
would be easier to accept.
We don't because we don't distribute documentation. We distribute
That begs the prior question of the equivalence between software and
documentation, which is certainly not true if the actual relationship is
that of a subset/proper superset.
But I haven't seen that explicit claim ANYWHERE, and your statement
that "whether it's software or not is irrelevant," combined with your
reference to this vote about "software" only begs the question.
There is no need to. That is like asking us to say that we demand open
licenses on the bicycles we distribute. We don't distribute them. We
only distribute software. Nothing else.
It *is* that simple.
False logic tends toward simplistic answers, but nothing about this
topic suggests to me that it's a simple issue amenable to sound-bite logic.