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Re: Proposed statement wrt GNU FDL

On Fri, Apr 25, 2003 at 02:05:10PM +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au>
> > >      If only we could be sure that the license on the manuals would
> > >      allow a user who thinks that "because!" is reason enough for him,
> > >      to remove the GNU Manifesto, we probably could still distribute
> > >      the unmidified manuals with the Invariant Section in it.
> > Didn't we just say we're not making exceptions for things that are
> > "sufficiently non-software-like"?
> No, we just said that license text are sufficiently non-software-like
> to enjoy an exception.

That's not why we're doing it. We're doing it because we don't have any
choice about it.

If you're seriously arguing that things that merely being "not
software-like" is enough reason not to apply the DFSG to the GNU Manifesto
or the GPL, then you can't apply it to documentation in general. If you
want to draw a distinction between them, you need to draw a clear one,
not handwave about it.

There is a clear distinction between licenses and documentation -- one
goes in /usr/share/doc/<foo>/copyright and is solely concerned about
what you can and can't do with everything else, the other goes anywhere
but in /usr/share/doc/<foo>/copyright.

> > >       Of course both of these limits are
> > >      judgement calls, and each particular Invariant-But-Removable
> > >      section will have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
> > And further, as a practical matter, it's not reasonable for us to be
> > making judgement calls on every random piece of documentation that
> > gets uploaded.
> A packager already has to make a lot of judgement calls when he
> packages something. 

It's not the packager that makes the judgement call as to what's
allowable -- it's ftpmaster and -legal. Packagers simply aren't able to
make reliable judgement calls as to what is and isn't DFSG-free in the
general case.

(And this is why I don't think "me too" posts are particularly relevant
as to establishing "consensus")


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

  ``Dear Anthony Towns: [...] Congratulations -- 
        you are now certified as a Red Hat Certified Engineer!''

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