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Re: Documentation/License freeness (what RMS says about it) [rms@santafe.edu: Re: GPL itself non-free]

--On Fri, Jun 5, 1998 3:26 pm +0200 "Marcus Brinkmann"
<Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de> wrote: 

> Hello!
> This is thereply I got from RMS about the copyright freeness issue.
> I think it is clear that we should lay the license freeness issue ad acta.
> Debian should include all licenses in whole, and the dfsg should not
> apply to them.
> Note that we require the dfsg-freeness for the benefit of the free
> community. It is a catalog of the minimum rights we need to improve
> even without the authors agreement.
> We have no real benefit of dfsg-free licenses.
> Comments?

I don't really agree in principle, but I agree that in practice this is what
we should do.  But I have to say, RMS isn't making much sense to me..

>  [Marcus asked:]
>     It seems to imply, that I'm not allowed to derive a new license, using
>     portions of the GPL (even when changing the name). Is that correct?

[RMS wrote:]
> Yes and no.  There is a legal principle (in the US at least) that
> copyright cannot restrict what license terms you use.  So if you want
> a license which has legal wording somewhat similar to the GNU GPL, but
> somewhat different, you can write one.
> However, it shouldn't be similar to the GPL in other respects; only in
> the actual legal wording that implements the desired effect.

Am I the only one who fails to see what this is trying to say?  Is he saying
that I can't write my own license like the GPL, but I *can* steal words from
it?  Huh?  'it shouldn't be similar to the GPL in other respects'?  In what
respects does RMS not want my (theoretical) new license to be like the GPL?

This is probably not important for hamm.  But we need a clarification of
this somewhere (maybe as an addendum to the DFSG itself).  What is software?

When we had his argument a couple of weeks ago, I was told that it was not
possible to draw a line between software and documentation, and therefore
that 'non-free' documentation *was* a problem.

I draw your attention to perlfaq and FSSTND..


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