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

Wouter Verhelst <wouter@grep.be> wrote:
>> Do the different laws make any practical difference that renders the
>> DFSG invalid for documents?
> None that I know of; however, that does not mean there are none.

OK, so we conclude that using the DFSG for all works in debian is
valid, until some other evidence is presented.

>> At least some people write docs for the same reasons as they write code.
>> Please try not to over-generalise.
> Well, at least it can be said that documentation usually doesn't have
> the same purpose as a computer program.

At the general level, it does: it achieves an effect.  The method is
different, though, in what it operates on.  Maybe that could form part
of a program/documentation difference, but it still leaves a lot of
software outside both categories.

>> Is this purely because of legal differences?
> No; also because I feel that there is a difference in purpose, which may
> warrant a difference in license policy.

OK, that is your opinion, but it is not the current published position
of the project and there seems no need for the project to define such
a policy, from current information.  It could only be a subset of free
software, to fulfil the social contract, which isn't what those arguing
for a difference seem to want.

"What is free documentation" is a tactic I have encouraged people not to
use about FDL, as I've found that it's ill-defined, a matter of opinion
and not directly relevant to Debian.

> No. I feel documentation for free software should be free. However, I
> think the way you define 'free documentation' is not interchangeable
> with the way you define 'free software' (having software be 'computer
> programs' here); it deserves another definition.

That may be the case, although I disagree with it.  However, Debian can
only distribute software, not just documentation on its own, so any work
in Debian needs to be "free software".  There is no definition of "free
computer programs" either, so the same would apply there: it would still
need to be "free software" to Debian.

> The archives maintainers are responsible for interpreting what we have.
> They're not responsible for redefining the rules of the game, if
> required; for that, only the Debian Developers, as a whole, are
> responsible.

So, this is not a pure bugfix but an attempt to change direction.
Unsurprisingly, I think that is undesirable and unlikely.

MJR/slef   My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
      http://mjr.towers.org.uk/   jabber://slef@jabber.at
Creative copyleft computing services via http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
Thought: Edwin A Abbott wrote about trouble with Windows in 1884

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