[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

On Sun, Apr 07, 2002 at 10:08:53PM -0500, David Starner wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 07, 2002 at 10:26:48PM -0400, Colin Walters wrote:
> > > So the FDL is a free license because it's inconvenient for it to be not?

> > No, they're saying that a vast majority of programs which are widely
> > considered free by our community are using this license.  Thus, the onus
> > is on you to put forth a real argument for why it's not free.

> Um, it fails section 3 (Modifications permitted) of the DFSG? A strictly
> literal reading of the DFSG clearly prohibits Invariant Sections. Any
> body claiming that the FDL (with Invariant Sections) is free is
> basically proposing a change in the DFSG, or at least the readings or
> scope thereof. I'd say the onus is on the people who want to change the
> status quo.

Don't forget that section 3 of the DFSG is modified by section 4, 
"Integrity of the Author's Source Code".  If documentation is software 
(and some have argued that it must be, or the Social Contract doesn't 
allow us to ship it), then I believe it is source code; and if it's 
source code, section 4 of the DFSG describes a method by which we permit 
authors to protect the integrity of their work while still being 
considered free.  Since the DFSG does not define "patch files" as being 
in any particular format (or even specify that they must be patches as 
used by patch(1)), I would be interested to hear if anyone thinks 
documentation must be treated as software, but cannot reasonably make 
use of the exemption in section 4.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

Attachment: pgpBxuMzgCu1a.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: