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Re: various opinions on Debian vs the GFDL



On Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 03:51:06PM +0200, Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 30, 2003 at 12:15:32AM +0200,
>  Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote 
>  a message of 33 lines which said:
> 
> >   ?) The GFDL is not free when applied to documents if any of
> >      the "invariant" or "cover" options are exercised. 
> 
> Is it a consensus on debian-legal that a GFDL work *without* any
> Invariant or Cover is indeed free and has no problem being distributed
> in "main"?

Not quite.  This mailing list's analysis of the GFDL has revealed other,
subtler problems with the license, but I think it's safe to say that if
the FSF were willing to modify the license to rectify the "Invariant" or
"Covert Texts" restrictions in a way we'd regard as DFSG-free, they
probably wouldn't have a problem making the other much smaller changes
we'd likely request.

The FSF is standing in defense of Invariant Sections and Cover Texts on
principle, however what exactly those principles are have not been
clearly articulated as far as I can tell, are not present on the FSF/GNU
website, and appear to be different from the FSF's principles regarding
software freedom.

In my opinion, the FSF has not been completely forthcoming on these
matters.  I think we would all benefit if they would shed some light on
these matters.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |     "Why do we have to hide from the
Debian GNU/Linux                   |      police, Daddy?"
branden@debian.org                 |     "Because we use vi, son.  They use
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |      emacs."

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