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Re: If Debian decides that the Gnu Free Doc License is not free then I will be honored to join Stallman and the FSF in the not free section of your distro

On Mon, 2003-04-21 at 02:08, Hans Reiser wrote:
> I find it unspeakably ingrateful to Stallman that some of you begrudge 
> him his right to express his (discomforting to some) views to all who 
> use his software, and to ensure that they are not removed by those suits 
> who are discomforted.

Our current activities on the GFDL involve writing up a list of
objections to the license, to present to the FSF. We are doing this
before removing the software from Debian. I think this shows great
respect for Mr. Stallman and the FSF that we are spending a fair amount
of time forming a consensus about what we feel needs changing in the
GFDL, writing that down clearly, and sending it to him, all while
ignoring our own principles, spelled out in the DFSG, in the meantime.

It has nothing to do with wanting to remove the GNU Manifesto from the
EMACS manual; Debian, as a whole, certainly has no hatred of RMS or his
views. We even have a 'vrms' package in the distro. -legal just has a
disagreement with him over some details of the GFDL.

Consider that an Evil Company, say, starting with the letter 'M', could
apparently make its changes to the documentation of a GFDL-licensed
document near-proprietary by adding invariant sections and cover texts
that are unconscionable to the original author. Something like an
invariant section on how the original author's coding style resembles
the intelligence of the infamous paper clip. And a cover text that
"Linux Sucks".

> As far as I am concerned, I have no desire to have ReiserFS distributed 
> for free by anyone who removes the GNU manifesto or similar expressions 
> from Stallman's work (or my own) and redistributes it.  It is simply a 
> matter of respect that is due the author.

That the list of credits was completely removed from reiserfsprogs was
surely a mistake. I'm sure Ed will, or already has, fixed it, given that
Debian may continue to distribute reiserfsprogs. It should of been
included in /usr/share/doc.

However, the 20+ lines of credits on every run of mkreiserfs was
certainly removed on purpose and needed to be. There are a lot of
24-line terminals, not all with scroll back, and that makes a 20+ line
message a major problem. Especially since the time the admin is running
it is probably during major system maintainance or recovery, when stress
is quite high, and where being able to see what he has done already is
quite important. Especially since the credit message, being last would
cause the important technical messages, warnings, errors, etc. to scroll
off screen. 

Should the remove have been done in a different way? Quote possibly. An
alternative that springs to mind would be adding a --credits flag, and a
short (one-line) message to inform the user of that option.

I guess the basic question now is, does the license reiserfsprogs is
distributed under allow the above change?

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