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

Branden Robinson wrote:
> 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
> 	  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 am seeking seconds for this proposal.

I am not a Debian developer, but I am one of the upstream developers
of a piece of software (GCC) that would be affected by this proposal,
and so I would like to say that I wholeheartedly support it.  I
wrote a lot of the text in the cpp manual, at a time when its
license was the old vague FSF- documentation license; I'm not at
all happy with its relicensing under terms I don't consider to be
free.  I attempted earlier this year to convince RMS to remove the
invariant sections from the GCC manuals, which he would not do;
unfortunately, there isn't any further recourse available to me
(I suppose I could sue the FSF for violating its end of the copyright
assignment contract, but that would be totally counterproductive).

So I would very much like to see Debian take action as outlined above,
because you collectively might have enough clout to get the FSF to
change its position.


The above is my personal opinion, not the opinion of the GCC maintainers
collectively, nor is it necessarily endorsed by my employer.  Please do
NOT cc: me on replies to this message.

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