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Re: DFSG intent question

Bruce Perens wrote:
>When designing the DFSG, I was considering the contents of a Debian CD,
>much like the Official Debian ISO image, containing all of the Debian
>software and documentation. I don't remember if I made the official CD
>policy before or after the DFSG. I intended for the entire contents of
>that CD to be under the rights stated in the DSFG - be they software,
>documentation, or data.
Woo-hoo!  Useful information.

>My feeling is that invariant sections are OK for attribution and the
>copyright statement and license ONLY, and not for other aspects of the
That seems to be the debian-legal consensus as well (as I'm sure you'll 
be glad to know).

>I think RMS wanted them so that he could package GNU history
>and philosophy with the technical documentation in a way that would not
>allow them to be separated. While this may be a laudable goal, I don't
>think it's the right goal for Debian.

>I'm somewhat disappointed with the direction of the Creative Commons
>movement, and efforts like the GNU FDL, to reduce the number of rights
>attached to the concept of "free" regarding documentation as opposed to
>software. I have very consciously maintained my own book series as Open
>Source rather than Creative Commons. I accept the GNU FDL on books in 
>my series only if there are no invariant sections other than 
>attribution, the copyright statement, and the license.

Creative Commons usually doesn't refer to 'free', instead talking about 
'some rights reserved'.  Mostly they seem to be intent on getting 
people who have no exposure to any free, open content licensing, to do 
what they're willing to, which is usually more than the default 'all 
rights reserved'.

I do wish they wouldn't promote the GNU FDL for documentation, of 
course.  It's totally inappropriate given that normally they don't make 
recommendations until *asking* the author what rights they want to 
allow.   And I wrote them about it, but didn't get a reply.

P.S. I'd be interested to know what you think of the Creative Commons 
Attribution license.  It looks free to me, but what do I know.  :-)  
(The ShareAlike and Attribution-ShareAlike licenses also look free, but 
proliferation of copyleft licenses is generally a bad thing -- and 
they're providing two incompatible ones!)

Nathanael Nerode  <neroden at gcc.gnu.org>

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