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

On Sat, Apr 19, 2003 at 01:51:22PM +0200, Georg C. F. Greve wrote:
> Given that a document is under a license that permits modification,
> any redistributor could add anything and then say that removing it
> would hurt his or her moral rights.
> Any license trying to allow modification/removal of such sections
> would run a higher risk of being ruled invalid as a whole because
> these are inalienable rights.
> So by having no possibility for invariant sections in a documentation
> license, all you do is increase the possibility that it will one day
> be ruled to be invalid as a whole.

If this is the reason for allowing invariant sections, it doesn't explain
why GNU is actually using them in their own documentation.  If this was the
only reason--that it's ugly but needed--then the license should recommend
against their use, and GNU should be setting an example by not using them at
all.  The fact that they are, in fact, being actively used indicates that
they're driven by more than this legal requirement.

There have been suggestions that GFDL-licensed text be considered free only
if it doesn't actually contain any invariant sections.  This would seem
to accomodate the reason you're giving (the possibility is still there,
even though Debian has no obligation to ditfibute the result)--but as GNU
is actively *using* them, it would still result in GNU documentation being
removed from Debian.

Glenn Maynard

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