[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GFDL - status?

On Sun, Jul 13, 2003 at 03:59:00PM -0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> You disagree that the documentation part of a GFDL-covered work is
> acceptably licensed?

Yes.  It is encumbered with invariant sections.  That clearly doesn't
meet DFSG#3, and it doesn't qualify for the exception in DFSG#4.

> I do not talk about the work as a whole, which seems
> clearly not to be.

If it were _possible_ to just ignore the invariant sections when
considering the documentation, then we wouldn't be having this
discussion.  Their stickiness is precisely the problem, since
it encumbers documentation that would otherwise be free.

> Related points that I consider interesting and relevant to what happens
> next are: is there any legal basis for distinguishing programs from other
> literary works? 

There seems to be; several European laws make specific exceptions for
computer programs.  They don't define "computer program", as far as
I know.

> From other electronically stored works?  What about
> fonts?  Encoding tables?  Is DFSG sufficiently general?

If it's electronically (YM digitally?) stored, then I say it's software.
I see no reason to make this word a synonym for "computer programs",
and in practice I see people refer to a large variety of digitally
stored data as "software".  (For example, does the MirrorMagic package
contain "software, documentation, sounds and graphics"?  Or is the
whole thing just "software"?)

Richard Braakman

Reply to: