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Re: motion to take action on the unhappy GNU FDL issue

On Wed, Apr 16, 2003 at 03:09:17PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:

> I propose that we:
> 	* draft a comprehensive critique of the GNU FDL 1.2, detailing
> 	  section-by-section our problems with the license

(Branden, didn't you construct such a critique a while ago?
 I remember reading one.)

> 	* draft a FAQ regarding why we differ with FSF orthodoxy on this
> 	  issue
> 	* 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
> Then:
> 	* exhaustively identify works in main and contrib using the GNU
> 	  FDL[1]
> 	* 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

I second this proposal, with the addition that I wouldn't be opposed
to passing a General Resolution at some point before any removals.

> 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.

Indeed.  In fact, I now have the impression that the FSF was waiting
for us to come up with an official statement, while we were waiting
for a response from the FSF.  The first three steps of your proposal
seem to be a good way to resolve that.

I think it's also time to get the rest of the project involved.
I expect that a lot of people who don't ordinarily care about
license details will suddenly become interested when packages
like glibc-doc are affected.  This probably means all of the
issues will be rehashed on debian-devel, so it will be good
to have such a FAQ available.  (I'm not advocating this
rehashing, I'm just speaking from past experience :)

Richard Braakman

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