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Re: REVISED PROPOSAL regarding DFSG 3 and 4, licenses, and modifiable text

On Sat, Dec 01, 2001 at 10:56:39PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> But then say: "My goal is going to include the exclusion of the
> following GNU packages".  Come right out and say it--and then see if
> people are willing to go along!

I can't honestly say that because I don't know for sure that any GNU
package is going to be thus affected.  To the best of my knowledge, the
only one that *may* be at any risk of exclusion under my guidelines is
the GNU Emacs Manual, and I asked for the emacs{20,21} maintainers'
assistance in making this determination.

If you'd stop accusing me of being coy for long enough to read the
original message in this thread, you'd notice where I explicitly
enumerated GNU Manuals, all presently or presumably soon-to-be under the
GNU FDL, that, in their current forms, are NOT going to be excluded from
main under my guideline.

> Now, you earlier said that you didn't intend the rigid limit to be so
> rigid that we couldn't override it in particular cases.  So, can we
> agree to override it in the particular cases of things already part of
> Debian?  If that's only the Emacs manual, then it should be an easy
> thing, and we can move on, right?

If *YOU* want to attempt to make an adjunct decree to my guideline that
says "The GNU Emacs Manual shalt always be regarded as DFSG-free
regardless of what license the Free Software Foundation places on it",
feel free to do so, but I'll oppose it.

I don't yet know if the GNU Emacs Manual meets or fails my criterion.  I
don't own a paper copy of the manual, and I'm not sure how to identify
all the pieces of the electronic form that are Invariant Sections.
Under the GNU FDL you're supposed to list all of these in one place, but
I can't find this list.

Therefore, since I don't have this knowledge, I cannot make a confident
statement one way or the other.  I'm warning people that the GNU Emacs
Manual *might* be excluded, but that as far as I can tell, none of the
other GNU Manuals would be.

How many times do I have to repeat this for it to be clear to you?

> Or, is the limit rigid when you apply it, but loose and flexible when
> you argue for it?  That seems deceptive to me; I hope it's not what
> you meant when you said that you were not against flexible
> application.

Why, certainly, that must be it.  Don't read what I wrote when you can
construct a conspiracy theory instead.

Whether the GNU Emacs Manual is retained or excluded under my guideline
(if adopted), whether due to explicit exception or because it happens to
meet the expressed criteria, is not a decision I am solely empowered to
make.  Please refrain from making this implication.

G. Branden Robinson                |          You live and learn.
Debian GNU/Linux                   |          Or you don't live long.
branden@debian.org                 |          -- Robert Heinlein
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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