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Re: PHPNuke license

David Turner <novalis@gnu.org> writes:

> OTOH, the Affero bit is staying AFAIK, and I hope that Debian can accept
> that.  We had a discussion on proper interpretation of #3 brewing, and I
> would be happy for it to brew some more (although I'll have to take off
> my FSF hat, of course).

By "is staying", do you mean that the decision is made and nobody can
say anything about it?

The reason I dislike the "Affero bit" is that it is a further
restriction on freedom.  I stand for freedom.  I like freedom.  I
learned about freedom from RMS, but he has apparently decided that
freedom is no longer all it's cracked up to be.  Is there any value in
complaining about the "Affero bit", or is the FSF just going to insist
on this?

As with the FDL, this is very like an anti-flag burning rule.  I
believe in the values that the American flag supposedly stands for
(freedom, principally), and accordingly I would not engage in flag
burning.  Those who want to ban flag-burning want to take away freedom
in the name of preserving a symbol of freedom.

Similarly, the FSF seems happy to take away freedom, in the name of
preserving a certain political message.  Even though I wholeheartedly
*agree* with the message, I find it repugnant to be told that a
reduction in freedom is the way to spread it.

Moreover, in the case of the GFDL, the requirement has noxious
consequences.  For example, it prevents one from taking the text from
an allegedly free manual and using it for some very different
purpose.  I would not be able, for example, to turn the Emacs manual
into doc strings.  Indeed, if the GFDL spreads, and more people add
invariant sections, then there is a horrible effect if I want to make
a manual out of bits and pieces of a hundred different manuals.  I
would be forced to distribute gobs and gobs of invariant sections,
perhaps totally out of proportion to the manual I want to make.

I have yet to hear the FSF say anything but "that particular freedom
isn't very important, and getting our message out is very important",
which sounds really like a concession that the point I (and others)
have made is a very good one, and the FSF is simply content to
sacrifice freedom, but unwilling to tarnish its name by actually
saying so honestly.

And I don't think bringing up honesty is unfair.  The FSF solicited
public comment on the GFDL, and promised to make a summary of those
comments available.  As far as I can tell, that promise was a
bald-faced lie.  If nothing happens soon, then the comments may just
find their way to the public eye despite the FSF's apparent


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