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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

Jérôme Marant wrote:
> Again, moving a program to non-free will motivate people to
> write a free equivalent.

Actually, moving a program to non-free has historically been much more
likely to convey a message to the author of that program: "WAKE UP!"

When the author wakes up and realizes that their license is keeping
their program off of Debian CD's and relegating it to a backwater,
they might do something about it. Dozens of licenses have been changed
after things were put in non-free. The KDE/Qt issue is prehaps the best
example of Debian spurring this sort of awareness and change.

> But I can bet such thing is unlikely to often happen with documentation.

I think what I've described is just as likely, or more likely to happen
with documentation. If I write a program and GPL it, and GFDL the
documentation, and then Debian rips my tarball in two, puts the docs in
some "non-free" thing, and puts the code on a CD with only minimal docs,
I will be really pissed off at this mess they've made of things.
Especially when users start to complain to me. But I may eventually also
wake up, realize that the GFDL is doing me no good, and find a better

> David Harris and friends
> will never ever write a hundreds pages documentation only
> because the equivalent is not free.

I don't really dispute this. O'Reilly has done more harm than good if
you look at things in a certian way[1]. Nobody wants to write definitive
documentation for a free software program if they can buy an O'Reilly
book for $20, and so it's hard to find certian types of documentation
for many programs if you don't have $20 or a bookstore handy. But
sitting back and doing nothing, when we have a chance to change the
status quo for the better is not a good plan either. The trick is to
convince the people who are writing the documentation to make it free.

see shy jo

[1] Recent Creative Commons and O'Reilly developments nonwithstanding..

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