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

> 1) The document must be free but may require a change in the title for a
> modified version (for example "FSSTND" would become "Debians implementation
> of the FSSTND" or something without the acronym FSSTND at all).
> 2) Many authors don't want their work to be published out of their control.
> This is a valid point, but makes the document non-free, sorry. 

Really, I couldn't agree more! You really expressed just what I was thinking.

> The document authors already can enforce a lot of things, keeping the
> document free:
> I want to hear valid reasons why this is not enough before I even think
> about non-free documents in main!

Uhm -- just one reason: GPL (the text) is non-free: you are not allowed
to modify it (from the GPL, first few lines):

  Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
  of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

Fortunately (if I'm correct) the GPL does not _FORCE_ us to include a copy
of the GPL document with debian -- so there _is_ a way to distribute a ``free''
debian: `rm /usr/doc/copyright/*GPL'. (and maybe put a note there, saying
that we cannot distribute the GPL due to licence problems, but it can be found
by writing to ...).

Actually, I'm more serious than it may seem. Yes, I realise it's a bit harsh
to remove it (and other references) from Debian, but if that helps to
make the FSF distribute the GPL with a different licence, then it's a good

Hasn't TeX learned us that there is no distinction between documentation and
source code?

Or how about those C(++) systems that let you write documentation and source
code in one file?

Oh, btw, I've got this great [whatever] programme. There's just one problem
with it, it's licence doesn't permit modification. And there's no manual
page yet. But the source code is really clearly written, so if you want to
know anything about [whatever], just look in the source code as your documentation
So it is no problem to distribute [whatever] in Debian: the source code
is also the documentation, and we don't mind distributing documentation
that is non-modifiable.

Or put it an other way: Take any programme that says it's source cannot
be modified. Remove the manual page, say the source code is the
documentation (that also happens to compile into a working programme, but
that's a seperate issue), and distribute the non-modifiable programme
happily with debian. Is that what you guys want?


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