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Re: migrating away from the FDL



In article <1058656305.4761.10.camel@localhost>, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> In fact, I have been considering one point the GNU project has pointed
> out by creating the FDL: the fact that software on the one hand and
> 'normal' writings on the other hand are two completely different things.
> I believe that many Debian Developers agreed with the DFSG because they
> are the Debian Free Software Guidelines, not the Debian Freeness
> Guidelines, or sth similar.
> 
> However, since I'm currently still forming my opinion on that subject,
> I'd rather not discuss it -- at least not yet.

By 'normal' writings, do you include documentation?  If so, please
note that Richard Stallman does _not_ advocate different standards of
freedom for documentation and for software, according to, for instance,
http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200305/msg00593.html
Let me quote the relevant paragraph:

> Free documentation, like free software, refers to specific freedoms.
> It doesn't mean that you can do absolutely whatever you want to do.
> ... It means you can redistribute the work, change it
> (functionally), and redistribute modified versions.  It is ok to
> have requirements on how you can do this, provided they don't
> prevent you from substantively making the functional changes you
> want to make.

Note the provisos "functionally" and "substantively".  Based on this,
I believe that RMS would say that a program with an unremovable,
unmodifiable, 10,000 word "Ode to my goldfish" and no other
restrictions would be free software, although inconvenient.  I haven't
seen anyone from Debian defend that position yet.

Peace,
	Dylan
(IANADD)



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