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Re: migrating away from the FDL

On Sat, Jul 19, 2003 at 10:40:50PM +0200, Florian Weimer wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@grep.be> writes:
> > No, this is not a mail about large-scale bugs I intend to file about
> > packages using the FDL. It's about 'how do I relicense stuff in non-FDL
> > licenses'.
> The next logical step is 'how do I rename Debian GNU/Linux' to 'Debian
> Linux', I presume.

I think you are exaggerating a tad. This person came to us asking how to
relicense software he wrote. We only gave him information on how to do
so. If he wanted to relicense software in non-APSL licenses, we would
have given him that information too (which would probably have been very

> To my knowledge, only a very vocal minority of Debian Developers
> argues for the removal of documentation licensed under the GFDL (and
> even their views are far from consistent).  You guys might be putting
> the future of the project at risk, without actually realizing what you
> are doing.

Virtually every person on this list finds the GFDL non-free in some
situation. Most of the people who you see as the vocal minority of DDs
are people who are very vocal anyway. We've even had the original
authors of some of the documentation complain that they didn't like what
the FSF did by changing the licensing, but that they couldn't do anything
about it. I'm not a DD, and I think it's non-free. You can see the bug
on glibc about it. That's part of why glibc took forever to get into
testing. Other bugs have been filed on gcc docs. This problem is not
going away.

Also, I don't see how the future of the project can be at risk over a
non-free license. It is so obviously non-free that if it were a) by anyone
else but the FSF and b) not so deeply ingrained in our archives, everything
licensed under it would be extirpated from main at once. For example, look
at section 4. If my original document included a section Entitled History
that contained a 10,000 word "Ode to My Goldfish" (thank you whoever came
up with that brilliant idea), nobody else could remove it. That would be
obviously non-free.

Let me take this opportunity, in case I haven't already, to announce
that any document, software, or other copyrightable work that I have
created or to which I hold copyright that is licensed under any version
of the GNU Free Documentation License (including draft versions) is
hereby licensed under the GNU General Public License, as published by
the Free Software Foundation, version 2 only. That should take care of
the GFDL'd manpage that I submitted to fix a bug.

Brian M. Carlson <sandals@crustytoothpaste.ath.cx> 0x560553e7
"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare
 to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it
 after all." --Douglas Adams

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