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Re: PROPOSED: interpretive guidelines regarding DFSG 3, modifiability, and invariant text

On Sat, Dec 01, 2001 at 03:24:00AM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:
> This is not a very serious issue, since it isn't hard to rewrite a
> small amount of text.  You can also refer to it with a hypertext link
> instead of copying it.


Would you still feel the same way?

Perhaps the GNU FDL -- applied to its fullest -- is better suited for
artistic works like novels and poems, persuasive nonfiction like
editorials, and non-technical articles, than it is for tutorials and
reference manuals.  I have to admit that it is difficult for me to
distinguish between some of the better texinfo documents and manual
pages out there and some of the works the FSF feels it would be
appropriate to license under the GNU FDL.

Fortunately for Debian, the GNU manuals on awk, gcc, make, texinfo, and
glibc are, at least in versions released in the not-too-past, licensed
under terms that are unproblematic for Debian.  The gcc Manual license
forbids redistribution without the "Funding Free Software" section, but
this section is short and would easily fall within the exception my
proposal grants.

I'll revise my proposal slightly to take into account the fact that it's
unlikely that any headway will be made on the GNU Emacs Manual, and to
take into account Henning Makholm's concerns, and re-present it to the
Debian Project.  Thanks for your participation in this process.

> I don't think there is a real problem here.  It may bother your
> sensibilities because of the opinions that you start with, but
> practically speaking it is easy to cope with.

It's easy to cope with all sorts of things that violate either the DFSG
or the Free Software Foundation's definition of Free Software.  That
doesn't mean that it is desirable to do so.

G. Branden Robinson                |      The noble soul has reverence for
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      itself.
branden@debian.org                 |      -- Friedrich Nietzsche
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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