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Re: query from Georg Greve of GNU about Debian's opinion of the FDL

Georg C. F. Greve <greve@gnu.org>:

> As to the question whether or not software and documentation should be
> treated alike, I'd like to say that I am very much in favor of a more
> differentiated approach.
> Mixing things that are in truth very different is one of the worst
> effects of the "intellectual property" terminology and has done a lot
> of harm. Remember that a lot of the less intelligent legal rulings
> regarding software have their roots in this unwarranted assumption.
> Now asking to treat documentation/books like software looks like
> inverse repetition of that mistake.

Now you're mixing things that are in truth very different by
pretending that treating software and documentation in the same way is
equivalent to failing to distinguish between copyright and patents.

Perhaps this is some kind of point-scoring exercise rather than a
serious discussion, because you're not really expecting anyone to
think that Debian believing that free software needs free
documentation will lead to bad legal rulings, are you?

>  br> Your analysis ignores the fact that the GNU FDL does not permit
>  br> Invariant Sections to be omitted entirely from the work when it
>  br> is redistributed.  If the GNU FDL did that, it would take a giant
>  br> step towards DFSG-freeness.

> Interpretation B -- which you probably meant -- is already included in
> the analysis, as cutting out parts is also modification.

Cutting out all of the Invariant Sections is modification of the
Invariant Sections? This sounds a bit like John Cage's copyrighted

By the way, I was not at all convinced by your analysis. I would have
thought that the best way to defuse moral rights would be to have the
whole document be a mishmash of contributions from different authors.
Including an invariant and unremovable section by a single author
seems like a recipe for increasing the risk of moral rights affecting
the entire work.


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