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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

On Tue, May 20, 2003 at 09:53:27PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     Is the FSF willing to dual-license manuals that previously had no
>     invariant sections at all, such as _Debugging with GDB_, under the GNU
>     FDL and the traditional GNU documentation license simultaneously?
> I don't see a reason to do so, but I won't absolutely rule it out.

Well, frankly, it would be accomodating to the Debian Project.

I might be able to offer you more principled reasons to do so if I
understood what potential harm you see in dual-licensing manuals that
have no invariant sections.

I guess the answer to that depends on what valuable traits you see the
GNU FDL-without-Invariant-Sections as having over the traditional GNU
documentation license.

>     Finally, would you consider a manual that used the GNU FDL -- or claimed
>     to do so -- which marked a non-Secondary Section as Invariant to be
>     Free as in freedom?
> No, it is not free.  If any GNU package contains such a manual,
> please send a bug report to the maintainers and CC me.
> (I sent mail to the GDB maintainers to inquire about the GDB manual
> situation, but I have not seen an answer yet.)

As of Version 5 (May 2000), the GDB manual had no invariant sections at
all.  Now it does:

     Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or
  any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
  Invariant Sections being "Free Software" and "Free Software Needs Free
  Documentation", with the Front-Cover Texts being "A GNU Manual," and
  with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below.

     (a) The Free Software Foundation's Back-Cover Text is: "You have
  freedom to copy and modify this GNU Manual, like GNU software.  Copies
  published by the Free Software Foundation raise funds for GNU

Is it the FSF's policy to add Invariant Sections to GNU Manuals, event
those that did not have invariant sections under their previous

Is it the FSF's policy to add Cover Texts to GNU Manuals?

G. Branden Robinson                |    People are equally horrified at
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    hearing the Christian religion
branden@debian.org                 |    doubted, and at seeing it
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    practiced.         -- Samuel Butler

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