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Re: Gnus Manual License

*Sigh*  This thread is long enough, and we seem to be going around in
circles.  And the ad hominems are starting.  And we're already way off
topic for this list.  So I'll try to keep this (relatively) brief.

On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 08:48:23 +0200, David Kastrup <dak@gnu.org> said:

> But you can't just get any old GPL.  It has to be one intended for
> your copy, and that means that you would have, in case of doubt, ask
> the copyright holder explicitly for such a license.  Which puts you
> back at square one: asking is always an option.

That's correct.  And I say that if the copyright holder is still
distributing it publicly on their web page under the GFDL, available to
everyone, you go there and see that they are still giving permission to
distribute under the GFDL, and you are sure that the content of the
document that you have is the same as what they are distributing, then
you will be OK to use the GFDL, and if the copyright holder tried to sue
you under those circumstances, the case would probably be thrown out in
two seconds.

>> If I download some software from Debian that's licensed under the
>> GPL, and I can get the copyright holder to let me use it under the
>> terms of the BSD license (say, in exchange for $[unspecified sum]),
>> then he cannot turn around and sue me if I distribute the software
>> under the terms of the BSD license.

> When asking explicitly.  But you can't just say "I know this has been
> distributed elsewhere under the BSD, and even though I can't persuade
> the original person getting it to give me a copy, let us just presume
> I could have done so".

That is true, and does not contradict anything I said.  What I said was:
"But they can still obtain a separate license by other means.", which
you have somehow managed to turn into recreating a license out of the

>> They give it to _everyone_ under the GFDL.

> They _once_ gave it to everyone who _bothered_ to download it at _one_
> time.

Sure.  You asked in a previous message: "Why should Debian be able to
remove the way the FSF provided for printing a manual?", and based on
what you have said, my response is: they can't unless the FSF also
removes they way they provided for printing a manual (e.g. by removing
it from their web site/ftp server).

> You were making claims about what Debian developers would do, and your
> claims do not even hold up to the very limited exposure to Debian
> developers I have.  I have a strong counterexample even in that.
> Whether anecdotal or not, it definitely makes the point that your
> claims don't hold.

I don't think I ever made claims about _all_ developers.  Some
developers are jerks, and have a bone to pick.  Most will act
reasonably, and try to comply with upstream's wishes as much as they

>> Yes, I agree that there is a reason the GFDL was created.  I don't
>> think that "the GPL makes it too hard for printers" tells the whole
Crap.  Did I really say that?  I meant: "the source code requirement of
the GPL makes it too hard for printers".  Sorry if that caused confusion
or misunderstanding.

>> story.  (And no, I'm not trying to imply some sort if insidious
>> motivation for the GFDL, just in case you got that impression.)

> Then you should spell out what you think would be the whole story.

No.  For one thing, I don't think that my view is relevant to this
discussion.  And for another thing, I don't claim to know the whole
story, which is why I asked what problems the GPL poses to printing.

All I can say is that the GFDL does more than just loosen the source
code requirements compared to the GPL (e.g. it introduces cover texts).
And so from what I can tell, the source code requirement is probably not
the only reason for the creation of the GFDL.

Hubert Chan - email & Jabber: hubert@uhoreg.ca - http://www.uhoreg.ca/
PGP/GnuPG key: 1024D/124B61FA   (Key available at wwwkeys.pgp.net)
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