[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Proposed statement wrt GNU FDL

On Thu, 24 Apr 2003, Anthony Towns wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 22, 2003 at 06:59:45PM +1000, Matthew Palmer wrote:
> > One which isn't mentioned there is to amend the DFSG to allow the FDL
> > and similar licences.
> I think "Why are Unmodifiable Sections a Problem?" in the proposed FAQ I
> just posted in reply to Richard's message covers this. Could you have a
> look at it to see if you agree?

I agree with what's expressed in the FAQ, but apart from the section on why
we think software and documentation should be treated equally under the DFSG
(quite a good argument there, BTW) there's nothing there about why we can't
as a project, for instance, just relax the rules of the DFSG generally. 
After all, we bump up against "non-freeisms" regularly (hence non-free),
people are going to ask "why can't you make an exception in the DFSG for
this".  Even if it's just something as simple as:

Why can't the DFSG be modified to accomodate the restrictions imposed by the
FDL?  After all, RMS endorses it, so why shouldn't you?

The Debian Free Software Guidelines, combined with the Social Contract, are
the basic tenets by which Debian is guided.  The DFSG has stood well with
both Debian Developers and the Free Software community for some time, and is
widely regarded as the canonical statement of what makes free software Free
(the Open Source Definition [I think] was based on the DFSG).  As such,
changing the DFSG would be widely seen as a major compromise of the
principles the Debian project was founded on, and continues to be based on
today, as well as a key definition of what it means for software to be Free.

On a more practical note, changing the DFSG requires a General Resolution of
Debian Developers, a large logistical task and not one which should be
undertaken lightly.


OK, so maybe it wasn't quite so simple after all.

I'm not putting that up as the canonical form of the Q&A, but it reinforces
to me why the GFDL needs fixing, and not us.

- Matt

Reply to: