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

Georg said:
>Yes. But that is a question of Copyright law, not license.
>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.
First of all, 'moral rights' don't exist in the US.  In the UK, and all the 
Commonwealth countries, I believe they are limited to the right to be 
identified as the author.  (All other similar rights are protected by libel & 
slander law, anti-fraud law, etc., which operate quite differently and really 
have no place in a copyright licence.)  So your theory here is legally 
invalid in, essentially, the entire English-speaking world.  

Second, even in other countries, I assume that moral rights are limited to 
something reasonable.  A redistributor can *claim* that removing it would 
hurt his moral rights, but it doesn't make it *true*.  He could also *claim* 
that removing it constitutes libel, slander, fraud, extortion, and theft, but 
it's still not *true*.

I don't think that defending against the possibility of a quirk of Italian or 
French law being abused by an irresponsible person is worth the very real 
damage being done by 'invariant sections'.

>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.
As above, this is nonsense in most of the world.

>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.
FUD, pure FUD.  Has anything close to this ever *happened*?  No.

Please listen to us.  The GFDL is causing real damage to the cause of free 
documentation for free software.

And don't forget that it's GPL-incompatible.  (*Both ways* in fact.  GPLed 
code cannot be put into a GFDLed document, except through the 'fair use' 
provisions of copyright law, which get narrower every day.  Which would be a 
serious flaw even if the GFDL was a free licence, which it's not.)

--Nathanael Nerode

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