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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files

> > Alex Romosan <romosan@sycorax.lbl.gov>:
> >> WHY-FREE is not documentation! it is a manifesto in which rms expounds
> >> on his views on free software.

It's pretty clearly documentation of a point of view and a way of looking 
at the world.  There are parts of it which someone may want to use to 
document other points of view or ways of looking at the world.

Not that that matters to me.  It's a stream of bits, so it may as well be 
software IMO.  I understand this isn't a universal opinion, but I have 
yet to hear a convincing distinction.

> Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS <edmundo@rano.org> writes:
> > It doesn't really matter whether it's documentation or not. The
> > question is, is it free?

On Mon, 28 Apr 2003, Alex Romosan wrote:
> people, dfsg, fsf, free, non-free all deal with _software_.

Sure, but for some of us, _software_ is a very broad category.  For me, it 
includes all works which can be encoded as a stream of bits.  

Even if you make a distinction, what argument is there to remove rights 
from non-software works that don't apply to software?  Does a free 
software author not take precisely the same pride in authorship that a 
free document author does?  Is not the same damage done to the 
original author when a flawed change is made to a program as to an essay?

> i think that the people who try to expand the free-software concept to
> documentation are misguided

The feeling is quite mutual.

> in no way, shape, or form do i think anybody should have the right to
> edit somebody else's political statement.

Much like non-free software, non-free political statements are quite 
reasonable to create and use.  They don't belong in Debian, even if Debian 
agrees with the substance.

> the WHY-FREE manifesto is the cornerstone of the whole free software
> movement (including debian) and as such it should be immutable (and,
> of course, included in debian).

I disagree strongly.  It should be freely modifiable (with appropriate 
changelog and credits), and included in Debian.  Or not included in Debian 
at all.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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