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Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract



On Thursday 19 January 2006 12:09, Adeodato Simó wrote:
>   However, I'm pretty sure that more than one Developer thinks the
>   proper interpretation would be:
>
>     (b) this amendment overrules debian-legal's assessment that certain
>         two clauses of the GFDL are non-free, and thus needs 1:1

Right. To declare that the amendment would constitute a modification of a 
foundation document is to presuppose the very issue that this amendment 
seeks to clarify, namely, whether or not the GFDL-minus-invariant-sections 
is indeed non-free. If the amendment passes, then 
GFDL-minus-invariant-sections docs would not be considered non-free, and so 
could be allowed in main without any special dispensation. The amendment is 
not intended to declare that we should suspend the DFSG for the sake of 
expediency; such a proposal would indeed require a 3:1 supermajority. 
Rather, it simply promulgates the interpretation that the GFDL, minus 
invariant sections, while not perfect, is still DFSG-free.

No GR has declared the GFDL-minus-invariant-sections to be non-free. The GRs 
only decided to extend the DFSG to all of Debian, and then to postpone the 
application of this rule until after Sarge. The GFDL (with or without 
invariant sections) has been declared non-free with much controversy only 
by a very small set of developers, largely active on debian-legal, a body 
with no constitutional standing. While the Project finds it expedient to 
respect the general debian-legal consensus on most issues to avoid endless 
GRs on every subject, where there is a strong division of opinion within 
the developer body, or the decision will have important consequences, a GR 
to establish a license's status within the framework of the foundation 
documents seems wholly appropriate.

The Project Secretary would be overstepping his or her authority to declare 
the interpretation of the license being proposed to be fundamentally in 
violation of the foundation documents _prior_ to any vote on the subject. 
He or she may hold a strong personal view on the matter, but cannot impose 
that view on the general shape of the vote.

If the Secretary views the amendment as insufficiently clear as to what it 
is attempting to establish, then he or she can always request 
clarification.

Cheers,
Christopher Martin

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