Re: Anton's amendment
On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 09:49:51AM -0500, Zephaniah E. Hull wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 06, 2006 at 11:31:38AM +1100, Craig Sanders wrote:
> > i challenge any of you zealots to come up with a REAL WORLD, PRACTICAL
> > proof that the GFDL is non-free (and i mean actually non-free, not
> > merely inconvenient. the DFSG does not require convenience, only
> > freedom).
> Alright, I'm going to give another example here, hopefully this one will
> get through to you.
it was even lamer than the last....and wasn't even about the GFDL, it was
about some stupid hypothetical non-free license you made up yourself.
> Now, remember, we have _already had_ the GR that states that as far as
> the DFSG goes we don't give a damn if it's documentation or software.
> So, I write a program, nice, big, with a license that says that you can
> do anything you want with it as long as you keep the copyright
> statements attached and don't make any changes at all to main.c, none,
> not for bug fixing, not for feature changes, none at all.
> Oh, and you are not allowed to delete it or keep it from being linked in
this is not the GFDL. it's not even close to the GFDL. we're talking
about the GFDL, not your hypothetical non-free license.
> Would you consider this license free? If so, you're an idiot because
> it's not even close.
of course it's not free. it specifically says you can't modify (part of)
the code...in GFDL terms, primary topic of the work.
> And we have ALREADY decided that we don't give a damn if it's software
> or documentation, the fact that it's a 'secondary' section makes not
> one damn bit of difference, it's still non-free.
your bogus license says you can't change main.c - that is NOT a
secondary section. even if it was a relatively unimportant bit of the
code, it WOULD NOT AND COULD NOT be a secondary section.
1. if you're going to try for an analogy, at least make it match.
2. read what the GFDL actually says and stop trying to pretend that a
secondary section can be any part of the document - the definition is
very precise, and very restrictive:
A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter
section of the Document that deals exclusively with the
relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the
Document's overall subject (or to related matters) and contains
nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject.
(For example, if the Document is in part a textbook of
mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.)
The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with
the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial,
philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them.
> > > At that point, it is the entirety of the document, it is more then
> > > one or two lines of text, it is _not_ a copyright statement or
> > > license which is covered by law instead of the license.
> > neither of these things are actually covered by law - there is no
> > specific law that states "you may not delete or alter copyright
> > notices or licenses". these things are just implicit convention.
> I'm pretty sure that if you asked a lawyer what would happen were you
> to make drastic changes to the license file on a project that wasn't
> yours and removed the copyright notices that he'd tell you that it
> was likely to get you in a whole lot of trouble when they sue you for
> doing so.
that's because copyright law prohibits you from making ANY changes at
all. it is only the license in a free software license that allows that.
there's still no specific law that prevents changing license text or copyright
notices, so stop pretending there is.
so, when a free license grants the right to modify, unless it explicitly
prohibits modifying the license itself or the copyright notices, then it
is only politeness and convention that prevent anyone from doing that.
which is why most of them DO, in fact, prohibit changing the license or
taking credit for the original authors' work.
> > > Now, it is still under the GNU FDL, there is still content here,
> > > the content, which is now the _entirety_ of the document, is
> > > something that by the license I can not remove and can not change.
> > yes, what's left are the invariant sections. by definition,
> > unchangeable. you have such mastery of the obvious.
> What's left is main.c, an invariant section, by definition
no, stupid. main.c is not, and can not be an invariant section.
> > more importantly, you are making the mistake of assuming that because
> > you deleted the contents, the *real* primary topic of the document,
> > that the secondary sections are automatically promoted to the status of
> > primary topic. that is a false assumption. by definition, an invariant
> > section can only be a secondary section, AND a secondary section CAN NOT
> > BE the primary topic of a document. so that means either:
> > 1. (in the unlikely case that your auto-promotion theory is true) since
> > they're not secondary sections, they can't be invariant: no invariant
> > sections, no problem.
> The license has broken, you no longer have a license that allows you to
> do _ANYTHING_.
so? there's lots of ways to break other free licenses like the GPL, the
fact that they can be broken does not in any way make them non-free.
> > 2. (otherwise) since there's no primary topic to hang them on to, the
> > invariant sections go too, so you have no document at all: no document,
> > no license, no problem.
> The license has broken, and strangely, the program or document, doesn't
> matter which, _IS STILL THERE_, it does not disappear in a magic puff
> of smoke. No license equals no permission to do anything AT ALL as far
> as distributing it.
so. fucking. what?
it's an empty document, containing nothing but licence text and other
boring crap. who the fuck would want to distribute it?
this, like every single other alleged "proof" that the GFDL is non-free
is an absurd scenario - try sticking to the real world.
> > in either case, the outcome is ridiculous because the scenario
> > conditions are ridiculous. what you actually have is an empty document.
> > i.e. nothing. not worth worrying about. it doesn't matter in the
> > slightest.
> You have an empty program. Oh, sure, there's that main.c, which you're
> not allowed to touch, but the rest of it is gone so it doesn't matter,
> really! Look behind you, a plane! Now, we were not talking about there
> being some UTTERLY NON-FREE COMPONENT of the program that you're not
> allowed to remove, not at all.
your entire stupid argument has already collapsed because main.c is not and
can not be a secondary section.
> Move along, nothing to see here.
yes, quite right. nothing at all.
> > > Please, use some sense here, a large invariant section is not 'nothing',
> > > it actually does exist and it doesn't matter if you close your eyes, put
> > > your fingers in your ears, and start singing.
> > some people prefer not to waste time worrying about ridiculously absurd
> > contrived scenarios. there are lots of real things worth worrying about
> > in this world. your scenario is not one of them.
> If this is a ridiculously absurd contrived scenario, I would be happy to
> write such a program under such a license to put in main.
yes, it's yet another ridiculously contrived example - this time not even
bothering to actually use the GFDL as a reference point, instead it makes up
yet another license and then pretends that arguments against that license
apply to the GFDL even though they aren't even similar, let alone close.
that definitely qualifies as contrived. and absurd. and ridiculous.
craig sanders <email@example.com> (part time cyborg)