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



On Sat, Dec 08, 2001 at 03:43:44PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Uh. I'm a little lost.
> 
> Your argument seems to be:
> 
> 	* There's 20k bytes of invariant text in the GCC manual.
> 	* There's roughly 8k bytes of invariant text in the units this
> 	  proposal uses in the GCC manual.
> 	* Therefore, 32,768 bytes is a reasonable limit.
> 
> Now, I could understand going from 7,928 bytes to 8,000 bytes; or to
> 10,000 bytes, or, if you have to appease your power of two fascination,
> I could perhaps understand 8,192 bytes or 10,240 bytes. But 32,768 bytes
> just appears to have been pulled from the air completely.

At the time, I wanted to leave a generous margin.  Over the course of
discussion it has occurred to me that being charitable isn't
particularly appreciated.  32,768 struck me as generous enough without
giving away the farm.  You want 32,000, that's fine; you
want 8,000, that's fine too.

As it happens, 32,768 is enough to render the GNU Emacs Manual DFSG-free
under the proposed interpretive guidelines, if the text of the GNU GPL
is considered as a license that applies to the work (which it is, since
GNU Emacs is licensed under it and it's a peculiarity of Debian that we
often split documentation into separate binary packages -- though this
isn't the case with emacs21 anyway).

With a limit of 8,000 or 10,000 bytes, the GNU Emacs Manual would easily
fail.  The GNU Manifesto itself easily blows past those limits.

> Again, the things wrong with your proposal are:
> 
> 	* a byte limit is not helpful at best, and more likely actively
> 	  counterproductive.

I have proposed several times to get rid of it.

Message-ID: <20011202075756.GD26052@deadbeast.net>

> 	* considering non-binding text from the license separately
> 	  to binding text in the license is unnecessary and overly
> 	  awkward.

I have proposed also to get rid of that.

Message-ID: <20011203221311.GA11875@deadbeast.net>

> You're making this far more complicated and pedantic than is helpful
> to anyone.

...only if one ignores, as you appear to be doing, my several offers to
amend the proposal after receiving feedback from others, most of which
has been less hostile than yours.

Aside from the amendments above, there is:

Message-ID: <20011202075756.GD26052@deadbeast.net>
Message-ID: <20011203044436.GB30855@deadbeast.net>
Message-ID: <20011204181918.GC18454@deadbeast.net>

> Far simpler and easier to understand to say something like "The
> program's license (the debian/copyright file) need not be modifiable.
> Small amounts (generally a few hundred to a thousand words) of
> non-modifiable text (eg, the GNU Manifesto) may be included in the
> package -- however this is discouraged, and does not apply to
> documentation that may need to be modified when the program is
> changed".

I am not convinced the GNU Manifesto should be explicitly grandfathered.
In any event, it's not less than 1,000 words.  It's approximately 4,300.

Here's some information on the GNU Emacs Manual:

   Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
Invariant Sections being "The GNU Manifesto", "Distribution" and "GNU
GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE", with the Front-Cover texts being "A GNU
Manual," and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below.  A copy of the
license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation
License."

 wc /tmp/manifesto
    522    4345   25941 /tmp/manifesto
 wc /tmp/distribution
     52     442    2626 /tmp/distribution
 wc /tmp/gpl
    358    2966   19107 /tmp/gpl

And on the GNU CC Manual:

   Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of
this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided also
that the sections entitled "GNU General Public License" and "Funding
for Free Software" are included exactly as in the original, and
provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under
the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

 wc /tmp/gpl
    358    2966   19107 /tmp/gpl
 wc /tmp/funding
     46     389    2418 /tmp/funding

The above figures are the result of opening the info files in vim and
using line-visual mode to extract the relevant sections.  I omitted the
info node material.  I didn't bother to do my "condensed whitespace"
calculation since no one seems to like it.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |           If ignorance is bliss,
branden@debian.org                 |           is omniscience hell?
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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