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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

On Fri, May 23, 2003 at 08:03:31AM -0400,
 Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> wrote 
 a message of 50 lines which said:

> So we had to search for ways to make sure that our message saying
> non-free software is wrong would at least be present in the GNU
> packages that they redistribute.  We did this by putting invariant
> political statements into programs and manuals.  In programs, these
> statements are included in the license text, in the preamble to the
> GPL.  In manuals, they are separate sections.

I'm sure that no Debian developer will object to a blurb about the
importance of freedom for software. Noone here will regret his
inability to remove that blurb.

But what if I encounter an Invariant Section saying that Social
Security is wrong and that old or diseased people should be left alone
and not helped by a public service? If I cannot remove this political
statement, I cannot really regard the manual as free. And I would not
want to distribute such statement, if I produce a modified version of
the documentation.

I often saw, in shareware or "freeware" programs, these sort of
statements. Sometimes, I agree to the blurb and sometimes not but, in
any case, not being able to remove it (changing it is a different
issue) certainly hampers freedom.

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