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Re: GNU FDL and Debian

"Sergey V. Spiridonov" <sena@hurd.homeunix.org> writes:

> It is clear for me, why FDL appears: it is needed to help technical
> writers earn money by writing free documentation for free software
> and to help publishers of free manuals make a profit from them
> [1]. It is clear for me, why some debian members are not willing to
> have documentation licensed under FDL in Debian: they do not want to
> violate DFSG [2].
> 1. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-gfdl.html
> 2. http://www.debian.org/social_contract.en.html#guidelines

We (though IANA Debian Developer, so YMMV) have nothing against profit
margins.  So the fact that someone is concerned about them does not
mean we cannot reach some sort of compromise with them.

The problem here is that (without going into the details)
communication between the FSF and Debian seems to have broken down.
Though I cannot say that I entirely understand the perspective of the
FSF and so cannot speak to that, I do think that Debian has legitimate
concerns about the freedom of the GFDL.

I like and respect both the FSF and Debian as well, but I'm (sadly)
pessimistic about the chances for a solution to the problem.  RMS did
briefly discuss the issue on d-l (which we appreciate very much), but
we weren't able to reach an understanding.

So unless something to change the situation turns up soon, I have a
feeling that Debian will have to grit its collective teeth and remove
GFDL licensed works from debian main.  I fervently hope that this does
not cause long-term problems between two organizations with so much in

(Speaking only for myself, of course.)

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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