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Re: Documentation licenses (GFDL discussion on debian-legal)

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On 3 Dec 2002, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:

> Documentation *must* change to adapt to software, if the software can
> change.

Well, if we're going to be as strongly judgmental as that, I'ld much rather
it were expressed the right way round -- software *must* change to conform to
the freedom to modify digitally-encoded documents.
(Whatever may be represented by the encoding -- procedures described in
natural or formal language; time-based audio or video documents;
three-dimensional objects scanned in as a series of co-ordinates -- etc.
In their digitally-encoded form, all are no more than 'documents'.)

This of course requires the renaming and re-couching of terminology of DFSG
(Debian Free Software Guidelines) to DFDG (Debian Free Document Guidelines) --
software in its digital form being a document like any other -- and I hereby
propose that this be done.


It's about time we moved forward on this to be as comprehensive as possible.

> I write free software *and* English prose, and I have made sure that
> the English prose *is* freely modifiable, provided proper credit and
> change notification takes place.

Likewise.  [I also write copyrighted material.]  We have no difference of
opinion -- just a different skew on our individual viewpoints.  You would
appear to be software-centric; I am quite definitely document-centric.  (In
other words, I don't care quite quite so much about the document content.  As
long as I am allowed to examine it and if so desired, modify it.  And this for
those documents, and *only* those documents which I or others choose to
release under a 'free' licence.)

Comments, folks?

- -- 
Martin Wheeler   -   StarTEXT / AVALONIX - Glastonbury - BA6 9PH - England
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