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

Joe Wreschnig <piman@sacredchao.net>:
>> How about making it compatible with the GPL? 


On 12 Jun 2002, Joe Wreschnig wrote:
> I would like to see some way to mark sections unmodifiable but
> removable/renamable, e.g. acknowledgements or dedications, at the very
> least.

Start with "why is the GPL not suitable for documents".  I've heard 3 
arguments so far:

1) because it says "software" and "source code", and these are unclear
terms for documentation. 

2) Because it allows too much freedom.  Why, anyone could change what I 
created in a way I don't like, or even make it into a something that
offends me.

3) Because it allows too much freedom.  Someone could take my work and put 
their name on it.

Personally, I don't find #1 to be a problem, but I understand the
argument, so I see value in coming up with a GPDL or GPML (General Public
Documentation/Media License) that clarifies the terms.

#2 is admittedly a strawman representation of the objection, but it seems
to be real.  It's either a miunderstanding of what freedom is, or an
actual desire not to release the work freely.  That's fine, but I don't 
see how it would be reconciled by making a new license.

#3 IMO should be handled by trademark (or if required, naming
limitations), exactly as it is for software.

> I don't like or understand the FDL policy of making them
> unremovable, but I do understand the need for making certain sections
> unmodifiable (it's a lot harder to misrepresent someone with source code
> than with documents). Remember, ideally this is not just for program
> documentation.

Here we're getting to the crux of #3.  Why is it harder to misrepresent
someone with software than with documents?  Is it simply that it's easier
to modify a document, so the freedom is expected to be used by a wider 
variety of people?

> Perhaps it could be made compatible with a clause "Any section not
> marked as an Immutable/Invariant/Unchangeable/Whatever they are called
> if they exist section may be relicensed under the GNU GPL or GNU LPGL,
> version 2 or later, as published by the Free Software Foundation."

I like this a lot.  It doesn't solve the fundamental problem (immutable 
sections are simply unfree), but in the case where they're not used, it 
makes it easy to use the text in GPL software.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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