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Re: motion to take action on the unhappy GNU FDL issue

Thomas Bushnell, BSG writes:

> I think it might well be productive to point to the assignment
> contract, and insist that your content be removed.

I pulled it out of my files and reread it; the FSF's side of the
agreement is a lot weaker than I remembered.  The actual text is

  FSF agrees that all distribution of the Works, or of any work "based
  on the Works", or the program as enhanced by the Works, that takes
  place under the control of FSF or its agents or successors, shall be
  on terms that explicitly and perpetually permit anyone possessing a
  copy of the work to which the terms apply, and possessing accurate
  notice of these terms, to redistribute copies of the work to anyone on
  the same terms.  These terms shall not restrict which members of the
  public copies may be distributed to.  These terms shall not require a
  member of the public to pay any royalty to FSF or to anyone else for
  any permitted use of the work they apply to, or to communicate with
  FSF or its agents or assignees in any way either when redistribution
  is performed or on any other occasion.

(That's clause 4 of the document normally referred to as "assign.future".)

Not one word about redistribution of modifications.  I don't think
I have a leg to stand on with regard to the manual I already wrote.
You can be sure I won't be assigning any future copyright interests
of mine to the FSF on those terms, though.

On a more pragmatic note, if I really made a stink about this, what
would happen is cpp.texi would get rolled back to its state before
I revised it, and would continue to be distributed under the GFDL
with invariant sections etc intact; thus it would not get any Freer,
and would be much less useful to its intended readership.


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