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

On Wed, Dec 04, 2002 at 11:18:08PM +0100, Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote:
> Please read what the FSF has to say about this:
> "When should a section be invariant?  First of all, keep in mind that a
> section that treats technical material cannot be invariant. Only a
> secondary section can be invariant, and a technical section is not a
> secondary section. 
> If the section is text that you're not allowed to modify, such as a copy
> of the GNU GPL, then it must be invariant. You can't give permission to
> modify it if you don't have permission to modify it. 

Interesting to see that they're avoiding the point here.  In the entire
argument you quoted, they use "invariant" as a synonym for merely
"immutable", without giving any justification for "nonremovable".

Also, if we look at the way the GFDL is actually used, such as in the
GDB documentation, it's worth noting that neither the GFDL nor the
GPL are marked as Invariant in it.  Instead, the sections "Free Software"
and "Free Software Needs Free Documentation" are so marked.

> In any case, if we disagree on this. We could probably agree on this:
> "No document using the GFDL will be consider DFSG-free if using invariant
> sections. With the exception of Invariant Sections that include the
> document's license (the GFDL), or a brief history of the author as
> related to the document itself."

I don't see why we would need these exceptions if even the FSF does not
use them.

P.S. You _would_ benefit from re-reading the archives of debian-legal
about this issue.  I know it's a lot of work, but it's less work than
repeating all of the arguments, which you seem to be doing.

Richard Braakman

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