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

>>>> 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)

>> Mark Rafn wrote:
>>> Strongly disagree.  Freedom to fork a project is the basic right that
>>> Debian guarantees its users, and invariant sections remove that
>>> ability.

> Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote:
>> 	Forking a project is not the same as putting words in my mouth I
>> didn't say and that's what Invariant sections are for.

It's no more (nor less) putting words in your mouth than it is putting 
words in the Apache Group's mouth to distribute a modified httpd.

If you have statements to make that you don't want people to be able 
to change and reuse, that's your choice.  It doesn't belong in Debian.  

This is very much equivalent to the software author who doesn't want me to
change his beautiful API because it would reflect badly on him, or would
confuse users, or any other good reason.

In neither case is the work free, and in neither case should it go into 
Debian.  And in neither case am I likely to contribute improvements back 
to the author, nor even use it if there's a good free alternative 

Attaching such a proprietary thing to an otherwise-free document is just
as unfree as using a proprietary library in otherwise-free software.  The
aggregate is unfree.  If it's possible to remove the unfree part, Debian
might be able to use the remainder.

On Wed, 4 Dec 2002, Richard Braakman wrote:
> You're probably thinking of "immutable" sections, or something.  That
> would be a good name for sections that you're not allowed to modify.

Unmodifiable-but-removable can easily be handled by removing them before 
packaging for Debian.  If the remainder is worth having, at least.

> The "Invariant Sections" in the GFDL are far more restrictive:
> not allowed to ever modify or remove them, no matter how much you modify
> the rest of the documentation.  And even if you lift only a single chapter
> from a GFDLed document, you have to copy all of its Invariant Sections
> verbatim.

Invariant (unmodifiable and unremovable) is a showstopper.  Just plain 
non-free, IMO.

> The combination of immutability and nonremovability is what makes them
> non-free, in my opinion.  I wouldn't have a problem with some immutable
> sections, as long as they contain no technical information and can be
> discarded in the event of a significant fork.

I'd argue that immutable (removable but unmodifiable) sections must be 
discarded before becoming part of Debian.  
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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