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Re: A possible approach in "solving" the FDL problem

On Thu, Aug 07, 2003 at 11:26:49PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> Le jeu 07/08/2003 à 23:01, Wouter Verhelst a écrit :
> > > (a waste of time IMO, since it should mean the same
> > > thing).
> > 
> > Are you 100% sure whether all Debian Developers agree on that? If so,
> > I'll shut up.
> Even if we end up with a different definition (which is unlikely as the
> DFSG are simple and can be applied to documentation as well)

I beg to differ.

> , I fail to
> see how that definition could consider as free a document with invariant
> sections, or a document which cannot be copied to an encrypted
> filesystem.

That was not my point. I specifically declined to make any comments on
the actual contents of the FDL, since I think the problem lies deeper
than whether or not the FDL itself is acceptable as a 'free' license.

> > You can't know whether it's currently acceptable. About 1000 people have
> > agreed upon the DFSG, since they agreed that software, not
> > documentation, should be free. Although I can't come up with an example,
> > I don't think it's impossible that there are some Debian developers out
> > there who earn their living by providing non-free documentation for the
> > free software they write.
> There is the non-free archive for non-free documentation. Without
> arguing whether this is desirable or not (and I believe it is not), this
> is non-free, full stop. We still distribute those documentations in the
> non-free archive, so why should we try by any means to get them included
> into main and say they are free while they are not ?

I'm not saying we have to do that. I'm only saying we have to decide
whether or not the rules for declaring documentation to be free should
be the same as the rules for declaring computer programs to be free, and
if not, what the rules for declaring documentation to be free have to

> > In fact, if the debian-legal group were to decide all by itself that
> > software and documentation are essentially the same thing, I'm afraid a
> > fork would be much more likely.
> It is not the same thing. The question is whether the definition of
> freedom should be the same for both.

That's exactly the point I'm trying to get through. I feel that a lot of
developers think it is not. As such, I'm suggesting we ask our
developers, and work from there on.

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"An expert can usually spot the difference between a fake charge and a
full one, but there are plenty of dead experts." 
  -- National Geographic Channel, in a documentary about large African beasts.

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