Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)
Mark Rafn <email@example.com> writes:
> 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.
Thanks for considering my opinions. I don't think they counts here for
a future decision anyway. But I'd be please to see people answering
and enlightening me.
> 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?
It depends on 2) If documentation is software then no.
> 2) Can Debian usefully distinguish documentation from software?
This is the point I would like to be convienced about.
> 3) If so, is there a different set of criteria which should be used to
> test the freedom of documentation as opposed to software?
I know nothing of the publishing world. This is the reason why
I cannot accept blindly any decision.
I don't have the impression of writing code when I write
documentation or speeches (cf etc files in Emacs). Why?
> 4) Should Debian include (in main) non-free works if they're not software?
Hasn't it be the case in the past with some documentations?
> 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?
5) and 6) are interesting questions. This wouldn't be fair of course :-)
> 7) should Debian leave useful stuff in the main archive even if it is
> later determined to be non-free?
Of course not :-)
> 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.
For instance, does the GNU manifesto as invariant section hurt?
>> >> 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.
Althought we can convince some random upstream author, do we
have any chance about FSF manuals?
>> 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).
"The whole thing"? Emacs itself?
>> 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
Probably because free equivalents of non-free docs are not likely
to appear, unless those non-free docs get their license changed.
People don't like writing docs.
>> 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.
Did people suddenly decide to love writing docs?