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

Dale Scheetz <dwarf@polaris.net> wrote:
> B. The copyright applies to the specific textual material created by the
>    author.
>    This has two consequences.
> 	1. The author is empowered by the copyright to license the use of
> 	   the copyright matherial only. This implies that such license
> 	   can not control the use of "modified version", as the copyright
> 	   does not apply to them.

Huh?  If I take a best seller, and modify it a bit, the copyright no
longer holds?  You'd better double check this with your lawyer friends.

> 	2. Attempts to apply the copyright to the modified text may, in
> 	   fact defeat the copyright. A copyright that claims to cover any
> 	   and all "additional text", not written by the author, may make
> 	   the copyright unenforcable.

The GPL, at least, makes a clear distinction between the part of the
modified text which is licensed by the GPL and the part(s) which are
under other licenses.

> I submit that unmodified source is the only way to protect the freeness of
> the software it applies to.

I disagree, and refer you to the gnu manifesto.

> This has some intersting ramifications for the GPL, as this License
> wishes to imply control of other copyright material that it is
> associated with in certain ways. Others have pointed this out as a
> "non-freeness" of the GPL. Personally, I see it as an interpretation
> problem.

It's an interpretation problem only in the sense that its a
mis-interpretation.  The only freedom missing from the GPL is
the freedom to become non-free.

The GPL very clearly spells out that you have a right to redistribute
GPL'd code if you follow the restrictions spelled out in the GPL. The
GPL doesn't mandate that you follow these restrictions, but it doesn't
give you permission to distribute the GPL'd code unless you comply.

Since the restrictions restrictions are that the software must be
free, I'd classify the GPL as a clever hack, not "non-freeness".
The only contexts where you can't use GPL'd code is contexts where
there is other non-free code.

Again, the gnu manifesto spells out this rationale fairly clearly.


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