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Documentation Freeness (Re: Packages to be removed from hamm)

--On Fri, May 29, 1998 8:25 pm +0200 "Martin Schulze"
<joey@tapiola.Infodrom.North.DE> wrote: 

> On Fri, May 29, 1998 at 10:22:30AM -0700, David Welton wrote:
>> Debian-policy also is not free, as it contains the fsstnd.  As has
>> been noted elsewhere, parts of perl-doc are not free.
> Debian policy is non-free?  Oh dear!  Now this gets rediculous.  Does
> ne1 object against splitting debian-policy into debian-policy and fsstnd?

It's not ridiculous at all.  It's entirely sensible - but we're blurring the
boundaries between software and documentation.  And there is a boundary.

The truth is not free.  It's that simple.  If you change the truth, it is no
longer true - so the truth is not free!

In the context of formal documents, it is *not* appropriate to allow
modification without restriction.  An appropriate formulation for
documentation is that 'the authors grant unlimited right to copy and
distribute this document in any form, as long as acknowledgements to the
source are made, as well as modifications which preserve the sense
(translation into another lanaguage or another documentation format). 
Modified versions of this document may also be distributed if they are
clearly marked as modified.'

OK, that wasn't very elegant english ;-)  My point is that the writers of
the FSSTND don't want to changing it and claiming that the new version is
'*the* FSSTND'.  That is quite sensible, and not, IMHO, against the spirit
of free software.

Caveat: I haven't looked at the licenses of perlfaq (recently) or the
FSSTND, and I don't know how restrictive they in fact are.

However, I do claim that common sense dictates that different rules apply to
documents.  In the most trivial case, for example, it is illegal to modify
and redistribute (almost) any of /usr/doc/*/copyright - but we distribute


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