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Re: The debate on Invariant sections (long)

On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 03:29:46PM +0000, John Holroyd wrote:
> On Tue, 2003-05-27 at 12:46, Richard Stallman wrote:
> >     But why, if you found the old BSD license to be so inconvenient, are you
> >     promoting a license which mandates even greater inconveniences upon the
> >     end user?

> > I think you make the inconvenience out as more than it is.  To have an
> > invariant sections piled on in large quantities is a hypothetical
> > possibility, which may occur sometimes, but that doesn't mean it will
> > happen often.  I don't think the overall magnitude of this
> > inconvenience will be very large.

> I can accept that to an extent Richard, but your own arguments against
> the BSD advertising clause as just as relevant now as then. 

Of course, both the FSF and Debian regard the BSD advertising clause as
an inconvenience, not as grounds for ruling the license to be non-free;
so while RMS's reasoning may be to some degree inconsistent here
(advocating against one inconvenient license and for another), it
doesn't seem likely that he'll be persuaded on these grounds alone that
the GFDL is problematic.

Personally, I feel that the difference between a license that's
inconvenient and a license that's non-free is largely one of degree.
The consensus on debian-legal so far has been that, the *degree* to
which the GFDL restricts modification makes it non-free.  Clearly,
proponents of the license disagree.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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