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

 || On Mon, 14 Apr 2003 10:12:53 -0400
 || Peter S Galbraith <psg@debian.org> wrote: 

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

 psg> If I write a GUI front-end for some software which has
 psg> documentation under this license, can I take a few paragraphs of
 psg> the documentation to use under my "help" menu without including
 psg> invariant sections?

This is mixing two independent questions -- that of writing a GUI to
display text (software, potentially under GPL) and that of which text
(documentation, potentially under GFDL) you display in which way.

If we ignore potential DMCA/EUCD/SW-patent issues, which are unrelated
to the issue at hand, it is always okay to write a GUI that can
display documents regardless of their license. 

If this GUI would deliberately detect GFDL'ed documents and hide
information from the user, it might be made to violate the license of
the documentation -- I'd have to think about this some more to come to
a final conclusion -- but generally, this seems an issue of the user
of the software, not the author.

In the special case that you seem to be referring to, which is as
author of a specialized help GUI, you could of course jump to the
relevant paragraphs/parts of the documentation directly.

That would make the relevant information immediately accessible
without requiring to hide or remove any part of the document. 

Hiding or even removing parts of the documentation doesn't seem
necessary for that and in general does not seem like a useful job for
the author of a GUI.

The decision of what a user wants to read should be made by the user,
not by the author of his or her software.

Georg Greve

Georg C. F. Greve                                       <greve@gnu.org>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (http://fsfeurope.org)
Brave GNU World	                           (http://brave-gnu-world.org)

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