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Re: The GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and /usr/share/common-licenses

On Sun, 7 Apr 2002, Branden Robinson wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 07, 2002 at 02:36:28PM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> >   3. I placed my book under this license with the express understanding
> >      that it was considered free. Now I'm hearing noise that this is a
> >      non-free license. While I disagree, that is often irrelevant.
> > 
> >   4. If we still have no free documentation license. I'm not sure how we
> >      can make demands for "good" documentation.
> As usual, this issue has been beaten to death on a list you don't read.
> Please review the archives of debian-legal for the past several months.
> In a nutshell:
> 1) The current version of the GNU FDL is uncontroversially DFSG-free if
> there are no Cover Texts and no Invariant Sections.  Note that your
> license notice is supposed to indicate the presence or absence of Cover
> Texts and Invariant Sections.
> 2) The Open Publication License (OPL), is also uncontroversially
> DFSG-free when none of the "license options" are exercised.

So, in fact, both of these licenses are non-free, as they contain clauses
that can be used, and will be considered non-free.

I find it ... foolish to declare a license to be free IFF some clauses of
the license are not exercised. Using this language, any proprietary
license becomes free as long as none of the proprietary sections are
inforced by the author...

The license is a complete text. It is either free or it isn't. Selective
editing creates a new license that may or may not actually exist.

If this is the kind of logic that is being used on the -legal mailing
list, I'm glad not to expose myself to such nonsense.


_-_-_-_-_-   Author of "Dwarf's Guide to Debian GNU/Linux"  _-_-_-_-_-_-
_-                                                                    _-
_- aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (850) 656-9769     _-
_-       Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road          _-
_-       e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308        _-
_-                                                                    _-
_-_-_-_-_-  Released under the GNU Free Documentation License   _-_-_-_-
              available at: http://www.polaris.net/~dwarf/

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