Re: Final Draft: Interpretive Guideline regarding DFSG clause 3
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On Friday 14 December 2001 06:06, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> I fear that one problem here is that I regard "Debian" as comprising
> only the "main" archive.
So do I. That's one of my top reasons for using Debian in favor of other
Linux distros where hardware allows (there are other reasons to love Debian,
but this is a huge one). To that end, I'd like to see "main" only contain
truly free packages (including their documentation).
And I happen to disagree with the FSF's assertion that this manual is
somehow exempt from the same need for freedom that accompany the software it
is distributed with as part and parcel. I agree insofar as the manual can be
separated and made into a printed and bound book, but that's not how it's
being presented in Debian. The GNU FDL makes no distinctions though.
> Some people seem to have, in the back of their heads, that relabelling
> the emacs manual as non-free is a mere bookkeeping change of no major
> consequence, that moving it from main to non-free is a mere issue of
I don't think anyone thinks that. In fact, the work I've already put into
finding an alternative to emacs (since I can't use it without the manual) has
taken a lot of time I would have rather spent programming. And that
doesn't include the time I'll spend learning to use a new editor.
Thankfully, if I can ever *find* the GCC manual's .texi files on my systems,
I can just delete those, since I can't recall once looking at them before
For my part I feel the FSF is trading on it's position as the primary source
of this software to dictate terms on the freedom on the documentation, which
(because the manaul is bound up intimately with the software as I know it)
feels to me like I have no choice. I either don't use emacs (I'll never
remember all the ins and outs without a manual) or I accept this restriction.
This doesn't feel like freedom.
And up until now I would never have thought to remove the Manifesto or any
other such text from a copy of GNU materials I might distribute. Even if I
could I would consider it unethical and disrespectful, and would have said so
to anyone I'd seen doing same.
-- Michael Libby ( x @ ichimunki . com )
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