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Re: distributable but non-free documents

On Mon, Mar 04, 2002 at 08:19:15PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > If I recall, the original issue was about some RFC documents.  I would
> > > have thought it was essential that such things, which define the
> > > standards we all use, should be protected from unauthorised amendments. 
> > 
> > In which case a license of "if you change this you may not represent it
> > as RFCn" would be acceptable, no?
> The current GNU FDL draft has a section on "Endorsements" which I think
> are a pretty good solution to the problem of establishing authenticity
> of modifiable documents.
> While I have serious reservations about some parts of the GNU FDL --
> especially the aggressive promulgation of Invariant Sections that the
> FSF is practicing with some of its own manuals -- I think the license
> does have some good ideas in it, and the Endorsements concept is one.

The core problem I see with the FDL, and which I assume is one of the
concepts in the license you have reservations about, is that it contains
language which applies only to people who wish to make certain kinds of
use of the covered work.  Namely it provides different (and non-free)
terms for people who wish to print many copies of a covered work.

The fact that these discriminatory terms exist in the first place itself
violates the DFSG, though I have not yet seen the volume of protest over
this which I would have expected.  The DFSG applies to everyone, even the
FSF.  Discrimination against publishers is most certainly at odds with
item 6 of the DFSG.

This has no bearing on RFCs, however it does bears mentioning when the
suggestion that people take a look at the FDL for ideas is made.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@bluecherry.net>     I N33D MY G4M3Z, D00D!!!!111!!
                                                      (Just ... don't ask)
Debian Linux is a solid, comprehensive product, and a genuine pleasure to
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