Re: The invariant sections are not forbidden by DFSG
Anton Zinoviev <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 31, 2006 at 04:34:19PM +0100, Frank Küster wrote:
>> May I ask you to please read the mails you answer to? If you do, you'll
> If I did something wrong, that was not intentional. You wrote about
> some document with 9MB invariant sections.
I am talking about a hypothetical document, compiled from lots of
different sources with different copyright owners and licenses, some of
them GFDL. The 10Mbyte were just an arbitrary number to contrast with
900kbyte; compared the 13% of my concrete example later in the mail
that is quite probable.
>> That makes more than 20 pages of invariant sections, or less than 13% of
>> interesting material. Do you agree that the GNU Emacs Manual is non-free?
> It is free. 20 pages do not obstruct the users to exercise their
I believe that 12 times 20 pages do obstruct the freedom.
> (Although it can be forbiddable if you want to donate large
> quantity of printed documents to your students.)
So the freedom to give away documents to students is not important, or
>> > The invariant sections with offensive material give us a similar
>> > example -- documents that contain such invariant section would
>> > also be non-free.
>> The GNU manifesto might well be considered offensive by the authorities
>> of some not-so-hypothetical country.
> Then I guess the web-pages of Debian would also be considered
> offensive in this country. :-)
Of course; are they included in Debian, the distribution?
> Now seriously. I meant a text that is considered offensive by most of
> the users, not by the authorities. If the authorities ban some
> document due to its contents, the effect would be similar to that of a
> free program that is encumbered by patents in some countries.
The effect is the same, but the reason is different: In one case the
developers where not careful enough about choosing their algorithms, or
the patent law in this country is so strict that there's no way out. In
the other case, the developers deliberately chose to make the text
non-distributable in this country.
> I don't know how much RMS would appreciate this, but it doesn't
> matter. :-) Acording to GFDL you don't even need to put the notices
> "End of invariant sections from the Foo manual" and "Beginning of
> invariant sections from the Emacs manual".
Rereading the GFDL, I see you are right. That's funny, I need not even
indicate which invariant section belongs to which original work. It
seems to me that this clause doesn't protect anything, it just hinders
>> but still a ratio of 87% of rubbish is a bit high. I think this
>> would make it not just inconvenient, but instead non-free. For
>> example, even copying costs forbid to to distribute 11 sheets of
>> paper to a group of students if I want to hand them out a 2-pages
>> condensed version of the above nearly-3-pages section on coding
>> selection in Emacs.
> This cost can not be avoided even if it was only due to the long
> license text.
Note that I didn't count the license text, the invariant section I
counted is the *GPL*. Of course if the license was less restrictive and
compatible with other licenses, one could even spare the GFDL copy.
> You can print the invariant sections with small font as
> far as this doesn't obstruct the user's reading. It is probably
> illegal to print the license with a small font.
Well, then I may get from 20 pages to 13, and from 13% to 23%. Still
not realistic if I have to get the copy costs back from the institute's
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)