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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

Jerome, some of the responses you've gotten have been dismissive of your 
opinion, and a lot of this is normal debian-legal style.  I hope you don't 
take it too personally.

I would like to understand your position better.  I'm pretty sure I don't 
agree with you, but it's not clear exactly what you want Debian to decide 
with respect to the following:

1) Are works under the GFDL with invariant sections free?
2) Can Debian usefully distinguish documentation from software?
3) If so, is there a different set of criteria which should be used to 
test the freedom of documentation as opposed to software?
4) Should Debian include (in main) non-free works if they're not software?

And some more specific questions, which I don't think have been asked 
directly, as most d-l posters assume "no" to be obvious.

5) is everything from the FSF free by definition, even if the license 
would be non-free for someone else?
6) should Debian grant special status to the FSF and allow non-free FSF 
work to be part of Debian?
7) should Debian leave useful stuff in the main archive even if it is 
later determined to be non-free?

On Tue, 13 May 2003, [iso-8859-15] Jérôme Marant wrote:
> Could we consider some invariant sections as "non-problematic"?

This would seem to be issue #6.  I'd say "no" for a lot of reasons, but 
I'm happy to hear yours.

> >> But then, if we're seeking for enemies, I believe they
> >> are not on GNU side ...

Quite agreed.  I don't consider this to be seeking enemies, but rather 
refusing to go along with a friend who is making a very bad mistake.

> Err, it is a regression isn't it? I've always considered it as part
> of Emacs, and even its online help. It has always worked like that. 

If it's part of emacs, then it's very clearly non-free software and the 
whole thing should be removed from Debian (unless the FSF doesn't have to 
follow everyone else's definition of freedom).

> You mentioned in a previous mail packaging old versions of manuals.
> This is IMHO pretty useless because noone cares for outdated manuals.

Some of us don't care for non-free manuals either.  There are a number of 
cases where I choose to use free software over non-free software that 
meets my current needs somewhat better.  I'm glad Debian helps me make 
that choice, and I don't understand why documentation would be any 

> Althought people can be motivated in forking or reimplementing
> applications, I doubt anyone will be motivated enough to fork
> documentation and noone'll be able to be as up-to-date as the
> Emacs manual.

I see the motivations as very similar.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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