Re: Anton's amendment
On 2/1/06, Yavor Doganov <email@example.com> wrote:
> It is not an unbelievable conclusion. If I include your personal
> position about, let's say, software freedom in my documentation under
> GFDL, I have to put it in an Invariant section, otherwise people would
> be able to change/twist your words and turn it into something
> completely different. That is the whole purpose of these sections, if
> they were not invariant, it wouldn't make sense at all.
Ok, but by being invariant they are turning the documentation into
non-free documentation. As you say, people won't be able to change it,
therefore, it's a non-free text.
You are free to license the documentation you write with whatever
license you like. If you want to have a piece that is modifiable and
a piece that it's not, it's your decision. But by having invariant
sections you turn your documentation into non-free.
I think that we agree that for a piece of software to be free, you
have to be allowed to do modifications. And even if we don't go all
the way to clarify "modifications to the whole program", it's implied
in what we say: you are supposed to be able to modify anything you
like, not just the particular part that the author of the program
didn't mind being modified.
With documentation it's the same thing, if you cannot modify the whole
text, it's non-free.
> As explained on http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-howto.html, the
> Invariant sections serve a special purpose, which is the case of the
> GNU Manifesto. Many users, including myself, consider it a more
> important part than the GNU Emacs Manual itself. How removing the
> document, that inspired thousands to join the efforts, will make
> Debian more free, I cannot tell...
As it has been discussed here, having the Manifesto attached as
invariant is not only non-free, but also quite problematic when you
are trying to produce a derivative work that is either a) a
compilation of many documents b) a reduced version of the document (as
in a cheat-sheet or similar) c) printed on some non-paper medium (for
example, a cup) d) you want to give out copies to students and want to
All this is to say, no matter how much we agree or don't agree with
the GNU Manifesto, having it as an invariant section might not be such
a good idea (and, by not allowing to remove it, you've turned a
perfectly fine manual into a non-free piece of documentation).