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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

En réponse à Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org>:

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

(I've been asked politely not to raise this argument again :-)

> 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.

The KDE/Qt case was probably resolved by users that probably put
the pression on Trolltech in order to get KDE in Debian (it was
not even in non-free).

> > 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
> license.

I agree with you: it is likely to happen with the average upstream
Is it going to happen with GNU? I'd like it to.

> > 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

This is a pretty good illustration of my argument indeed, probably
because most people want printed documentation and whether it is
free or not, they'll get it for the same price anyway.

> 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.

What is the best way to convince GNU people to change their licenses?
(without being pissed of, that is).


Jérôme Marant <jerome@marant.org>


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