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

On Fri, Aug 08, 2003 at 12:11:41AM -0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@grep.be> wrote:
> > On Thu, Aug 07, 2003 at 11:26:49PM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> >> 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.
> In which case, you need to demonstrate the problems in doing so.  It is
> normal to tell the developers how to reproduce the bug when you report it.

I meant to say that I do not think it is unlikely that the definition
would be different; not that I think the DFSG cannot be applied to
documentation. However, even if it can be applied to documentation, I
feel it should not be.

> Otherwise, we'll just tag this as "works for me" or "invalid" and move on.
> Suggesting a bugfix GR before showing the bug you are trying to fix is
> reckless, IMO.  If exclusion of FDL-covered works is the bug, your GR
> should just be a proposal to allow FDL-covered works, but it's not.

Exclusion of FDL-covered work is not the bug I'm trying to fix. The fact
that we don't have a clear policy on how documentation needs to be
handled is; the FDL is part of that problem, but not the entirety.

> [...]
> > 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 [...]
> Please note that they are not called the "Debian Free Computer Program
> Guidelines".

Please note that not everyone thinks 'computer programs != software'.
Even if we are to make that the standard definition of software within
Debian, we still need to state that somewhere, since it currently isn't.
Even if we decide that there is no such need, we still have to make that
decision. 'We' as 'The Debian Project' here. Debian-legal cannot do that
on its own.

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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