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motion to take action on the unhappy GNU FDL issue

On Wed, Apr 16, 2003 at 08:12:27PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Anyway, to answer your original question, "GFDL = non-free" is not an
> official Debian position simply because we haven't written up a proper
> explanation of why, and haven't gone through the GFDL documents in main
> to see which ones need removing.

Well, I've been too cowardly to raise this issue of late, but given that
the temperature of debian-legal has been taken a few times over the past
several months, and there seems to be a steady or growing feeling that
Invariant Sections are not something we can live with, shall we resolve
to move forward on this issue?

I propose that we:
	* draft a comprehensive critique of the GNU FDL 1.2, detailing
	  section-by-section our problems with the license
	* draft a FAQ regarding why we differ with FSF orthodoxy on this
	* draft a document advising users of the GNU FDL how to add
	  riders to their license terms such that works so licensed are
	  DFSG-free, and pointing out alternative documentation licenses
	  that are also DFSG-free
	* exhaustively identify works in main and contrib using the GNU
	* contact[2] the package maintainers and upstream authors of
	  each affected source package, and include pointers to the
	  above documents
	* post a list of affected packages to debian-devel-announce
	  and/or debian-announce, so that no one is surprised by
	  whatever later actions occur
	* give people some time to consider and act upon the above
	  contact (some may relicense, some will tell us to go pound
	  sand, others won't reply at all)
	* remove packages from main and contrib whose licenses have not
	  been brought into compliance with the DFSG

This is the stuff of which nasty flamewars and misspelled Slashdot
headlines are made, hence my unwillingness to do it, but it is clear to
me that letting this issue languish in ambiguity isn't good for us or
our users.  Either that we feel the GNU FDL is being used in main and
contrib in ways that are not DFSG-free, or we don't, and either way we
need to get ourselves squarely on the record.

I am seeking seconds for this proposal.

[1] I don't restrict this to GNU FDL-licensed documents that have Cover
Texts or Invariant Sections because previous discussions have indicated
that there may be still other problems with the GNU FDL 1.2.  I seem to
recall someone raising a fairly persuasive critique of section 4K, for
instance.  Thus, if we're going to nail some theses to the church door,
we might as well make sure that they're comprehensive.

[2] possibly through a mass bug-filing, but I leave this detail to
future determination

G. Branden Robinson                |      "To be is to do"   -- Plato
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      "To do is to be"   -- Aristotle
branden@debian.org                 |      "Do be do be do"   -- Sinatra
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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