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The GNU FDL is a free license! (Was: Re: O: gnu-standards -- GNU coding standards)

On Sun, Apr 07, 2002 at 12:12:47PM -0500, Joe Wreschnig wrote:
> On Sun, 2002-04-07 at 06:14, Federico Di Gregorio wrote:
> > people, i just want to remember you that DFSG stands for debian free
> > SOFTWARE guidelines. documentation is *not* software
> Unfortunately this is becoming less true. CSS contains statements for
> content generation and counting variables. Is this a program? I'm not
> sure, but it's definitely not just a document anymore. XSLT can be
> included as "documentation" (and probably is in a lot of places, in or
> outside of Debian), and XSLT is Turing-complete. Where does the line get
> drawn? Is it possible to draw one?

It's possible to draw a line. The GNU FDL clearly describes what a
"Transparant copy" is for example.

> IMO, an FDL-licensed document with invariant sections is non-free. As a
> user of Debian, I'd like to know that they're not installed on my system
> if I'm only using packages from main.

The FDL is not DFSG-compliant, but that doesn't make it non-free. IMHO
a FDL-licensed document with invariant sections is free documentation,
just as GPL-licensed software is free software. It places additional
restriction, but those restriction aren't really harmful. IMHO the
restrictions of the FDL are less harmful than those of the GPL, as the
FDL doesn't limit from doing useful things. The GPL does, you can't
link GPL'd code with code under the BSD license with advertisement
clause. So if we are going to move all FDL'd documentation to non-free
we can better move all GPL'd software to non-free at same time.

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - http://www.jabber.org Jabber ID: jdekkers@jabber.org
Debian GNU supporter - http://www.debian.org http://www.gnu.org
IRC: jeroen@openprojects

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