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Re: Documentation licenses (GFDL discussion on debian-legal)

On Tue, 3 Dec 2002, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote:

> (first: the cross posting _is_ necessary, see why below, but please keep
> discussion at debian-doc since it belongs there IMHO)

Or keep it crossposted, as there are very strong opinions on debian-legal 
as well about this topic.

> I'm curious, why the heck is not debian-doc consulted (or CCed) whenever
> debian-legal starts discussing documentation licenses. It could be nice,
> if only to ask for opinions of the DDP project.

For myself, I don't CC a list I don't read (except in the rare instance 
where it's requested).  I hope, perhaps in vain, that there are people who 
read both lists and forward interesting messages as needed.  I thank you 
for performing this service in this case, Javier.

> You see, the DFSG is just that: the Debian Free _Software_ Guidelines. Why
> on earth are we comparing documentation licenses with a _software_
> licenses' guideline? It makes no sense.

This is the crux of an ongoing debate.  Suffice it to say that the 
distinctions between art, documentation, and software are not so black and 
white for many of us.  For me, anything that can be encoded as a 
sequence of bits is software.

IANADD, but I am a Debian user, and I would be very unhappy to have 
something show up in Debian that doesn't meet DFSG.

> It is my opinion that Debian should produce the Debian Free
> _Documentation_ Guidelines which need not be related to the current DFSG
> (but could use some tips from it, obviously).

I wouldn't object to this.  I propose DFSG | sed -e 's/software/work/g'.

> I am willing to produce such a draft but _only_ if people stop throwing
> the DFSG against document writers. It does _not_ apply, we need to write a
> new set of guidelines.

Search the -legal archives a bit more.  For many, it _is_ software, it 
_does_ apply, and the DFSG is the appropriate measure of freedom.

> PS: From my point of view, Invariant sections are perfectly ok when you
> are talking about non-technical related issues (example: author's opinions
> in an article) 

Strongly disagree.  Freedom to fork a project is the basic right that 
Debian guarantees its users, and invariant sections remove that ability.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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