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Re: GNU FDL (was Re: Bug#141561: gnu-standards: Non-free software in main)

On Sun, 2002-04-07 at 22:40, Joseph Carter wrote:
> This should have been dealt with sooner.  But the past three times the FDL
> has been discussed on this list, no concensus was reached.  The only thing
> we can be certain of is that there are enough problems with it to prevent
> any consensus.
> Call me a pessimist if you like, but I suspect that we'll get no different
> results this time.  Nobody wants to bear the fallout of a conclusion
> against the FDL, and no attempt to revise the DFSG has ever succeeded.

I don't know.  Call me an optimist, but I seem to be hearing a rough

What we as a project need to do, I think, is clarify this distinction
between "software" and "non-software" somehow.  Once that's done, I
think that everyone seems to be agreed that "free non-software" can have
some licensing limitations that are unacceptable for "free software",
and that the GFDL is a "free non-software license".

Indeed, the problem seems to be rooted in the question "is there
anything besides software?" more than in the question "what is software
and what isn't".

> I expect the issue will eventually be dropped (again) without resolution
> and either Debian will continue to cover its ears and hum real loud,
> unless someone is foolish enough to believe that they can gather a
> supermajority of the project to modify the DFSG.

I think we're guaranteed to not resolve it this time around; solving
this would be too much of a distraction from woody.

I think, though, that this should be the first order of business around,
say, May 7 or so.  (See?  I really am an optimist. :-)

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