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Re: Suggestion to maintainers of GFDL docs

Simon Law <sfllaw@engmail.uwaterloo.ca> wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 16, 2003 at 09:40:49AM -0400, Peter S Galbraith wrote:
> > Consider this a suggestion to maintainers of packages that contain
> > documentation that are under the GFDL, especially if it contains
> > invariant sections.  Imagine if an Emacs user visited Info and saw this:
> > 
> > * Menu:
> > 
> > * Distrib::	        How to get the latest Emacs distribution.
> > * Copying::	        The GNU General Public License gives you permission
> > 			  to redistribute GNU Emacs on certain terms;
> > 			  it also explains that there is no warranty.
> > * GNU Free Documentation License:: The license for this documentation.
> > * Why you shouldn't use the GFDL:: Debian doesn't recommend using this license.
> > 
> > And what if this new section listing reasons _not_ to use this license
> > were made...  invariant!
> > 
> > If the FSF wants to give redistributors a soapbox, perhaps we should use
> > it.
> 	Although incredibly clever, 

> 	                            this is not the sort of thing that
> we should do.  It would be very hypocritical to use a non-free mechanism
> to try to advance free documentation.

Well, I suppose the section wouldn't need to be invariant to be
effective.  It could simply mention that it _could have been invariant_
and that's why the license isn't very protective of freedom.

> 	Plus, it would make people angry; and who needs to anger more
> people?
> Simon

Perhaps.  I admit that my judgement might be affected by the current
discussion with Georg Greve.  But the section wouldn't need to be
written in an inflammatory manner.  In fact it would be much more
effective if it were not.

I'm just worried that a lot of projects will use this license because
it's the FSF-approved method.  That's what we did at
http://gri.sourceforge.net and I will change that now that I know
better.  Luckily, it's not too late for us.  But for other projects with
a great number of contributors it's probably already very difficult to
change the license.  This issue needs more visibility.


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