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Re: existing FDL documentation won't hurt

Bernd Warken <bwarken@mayn.de> writes:

> Some time ago, there was a discussion to make documents under the GNU
> Free Documentation License (FDL) unfree for Debian.  This is not
> necessary.


> Therefore, it would be enough to put a freeze to not use the FDL for 
> future documents, but leave the existing documents as free because they
> are.  In my case, this affects the man-pages of groff.

Debian should feel free to use whatever doesn't offend us.  We have no
need to try and come up with an ironclad rule that can be applied
automatically and without judgment.  We simply need rules and
guidelines that enable us to reach sane decisions when we need to have
decisions.  There is precious little benefit to trying to solve
problems that have not in fact arisen.

Many existing GNU manuals in fact contain invariant sections--the
Emacs manual, the GCC manual--and these sections do not merely include
the license itself.  But they also are not problematic, and
importantly, the invariant sections have nothing to do with the
functioning of the program, so they don't impede actual programming

Someone might use the GFDL to make some critically important thing
invariant which should not be invariant.  If and when that happens, we
could certainly reject the inclusion of such a document in Debian.


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