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Re: GNU FDL 1.2 draft comment summary posted, and RFD



On Wed, Jun 12, 2002 at 10:19:25PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> My objectives are simple: free, copyleft distribution, but one which
> permits practical hardcopy distribution (not entirely sure what
> "practical" means here); the GPL itself fails on the last
> point. Merely using the GPL with a chaser of "Also, you can print this
> out and distribute it" would seem to weaken the copyleft nature more
> than I would like. Suggestions for solutions to this problem are
> welcome.
> 
> Enforcing invariant sections, or deriving payment from the work, are
> not amongst my goals, unlike the FDL.
> 
> Plus, I'd like to be able to present people who are currently using
> the GPL for documentation with an alternative.[0]
> 
> [0] "Hi, your current license means I can't print out the
> documentation and give people copies easily, consider this one"

I sympathize with your concerns but I've having difficulty reconciling
'"Also, you can print this out and distribute it" would seem to weaken
the copyleft' with "Hi, your current license means I can't print out the
documentation and give people copies easily, consider this one".

I think we want a license that permits educators to photcopy a
DFCL-licensed document at will and distribute it to their classes, no
matter how large they are (many undergraduate courses in U.S. schools
have hundreds of subscribers, which leaves the GFDL's 100-copy limit in
the dust).

At the same time, there has to be a way to tie the printed copy to the
preferred form of modification, which is not going to be a piece of
paper.  What we allow teachers and professors to do, we're also going to
be permitting Microsoft, Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and the member
companies of the MPAA and RIAA to do, because we cannot discriminate
against fields of endeavor.

Actually, as long as the license is DFSG-free for all licensees, we
*can* do some discrimation.  We could, for instance,  waive or loosen
the distribution-in-preferred-form-for-changes requirement if the work
is being distributed at no charge.  However, people have all kinds of
clever ways of saying something is "free" (at no charge) when it really
isn't, so there are risks here as well.

I'm open to suggestions.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |           //     // //  /     /
branden@debian.org                 |           EI 'AANIIGOO 'AHOOT'E
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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