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Re: [rant] Re: Consequences of moving Emacs Manuals to non-free

Jérôme Marant <jmarant@free.fr> writes:

> I think you will as well have to explain users why on the one hand
> one must be free to modify source code and on the other hand why one
> does not necessary have to be free to modify documentation.
> While not satisfactory, I think the outcomes of the GR express some
> kind of consistency with Debian, I think.

What really needs explaining here is why Debian as a whole values
being stringent about a classification of documentation as software,
to the point of causing great inconvenience to their users.  It would
seem that Debian is becoming more of a distribution for other software
developers than an OS for people.

"Software" is an ambiguous word.  It makes the most sense to resolve
the ambiguity in the way that causes the least damage -- at least,
that's what makes sense to me.  The interpretation that software is
code should win out.  For an example of this use, see

> I didn't see at gnu.org any reference about why one shall not be
> free to modify documentation, that is why invariant sections are
> acceptable.

Including a reply or notice adjacent to an invariant section counts as
"modifying" to me, and this is permitted.

Invariant sections are acceptable because modifying a personal
position statement that someone wrote is usually not considered
acceptable.  Sometimes the position, the reason behind the software,
is more significant than the work itself.

At any rate, I don't really feel like continuing to respond to this,
since the matter has already been decided.  I just wanted to reinforce
that Debian's decision has caused at least one maintainer to distance
himself from the project.

P.S.: Note that I am speaking for myself, and not for the GNU Project
as a whole.

Michael Olson -- FSF Associate Member #652 -- http://www.mwolson.org/
Interests: Emacs Lisp, text markup, IRC, EMMS, anime, manga, Debian
  /` |\ | | | IRC: mwolson on freenode.net: #hcoop, #muse, #PurdueLUG
 |_] | \| |_| Jabber: mwolson_at_hcoop.net

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