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Re: GNU FDL (was Re: Bug#141561: gnu-standards: Non-free software in main)

On Sun, Apr 07, 2002 at 08:50:43PM -0500, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> I think that the point being made is that, if the GNU FDL is not a free
> license, then we will need to redefine "free" or watch our project
> splinter into uselessness.

The GNU FDL is a license, period.  It can applied in a manner consistent
with the DFSG.  It can also be applied in ways inconsistent with the

Please see:


Discussion of software vs. documentation, the precise meaning of DFSG 3,
and the GNU FDL in particular dominated the traffic on debian-legal for
two solid months.

The reason that there is no consensus was pretty nicely summed up by
Mark Rafn:


He said:

	Just so I can follow the teams, is there anyone who doesn't feel
	their position falls more-or-less into one of the following?

	1) Documents aren't software, so it's ok to include non-free
	documents in Debian.

	2) Documents with some amount of invariant non-license text can
	still be considered free.

	3) Documents with non-license invariant text are non-free, and
	don't belong in Debian.

	4) Generally, we shouldn't include documents with invariant text
	because they're not free, but we should make occasional

	BTW, I have no clue how to resolve such a basic policy dispute.
	I have a personal opinion, but I really expect that there won't
	be many people moving between the above camps.

The present discussion should really be taking place on debian-legal.

G. Branden Robinson                |     "Why do we have to hide from the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      police, Daddy?"
branden@debian.org                 |     "Because we use vi, son.  They use
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      emacs."

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