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Re: Is the GNU FDL a DFSG-free license?

Brian T. Sniffen, on 2003-08-21, 19:15, you wrote:
> Wouldn't it be better, then, to say that you don't think the GFDL
> meets the DFSG, but that you think it shouldn't have to?  Certainly,
> you don't appear to believe that the GFDL both should have to meet the
> DFSG and does so.

The DFSG does _not_ say that things like invariant sections or a history
requirement makes a "work" non-free. All that is written in the DFSG is
subject to interpretation. Mine is that the GFDL meets the DFSG. It's
just that easy.

> So it does.  I greatly enjoy the freedom to derive a work from that
> which you sent.  Just think -- if you'd licenses your message under
> the GFDL, not only would I have had to include a History section in

You did that anyway, see the References: header.

The history feature is not important for me, if a license says that I
have to write a history, why not do it. When I use BSD software I do
have to make attributions to the original authors. These are like

The point is, I think that there are circumstances where having
invariant sections are _necessary_. When I am writing a report with a
conclusion that contains my very personal opinion, I as the author do
not want anybody to change that section, write anything into it that I
do not agree with. The readers of that modified version will think it is
my opinion they are reading thouhg it is not and may be even contrary to
mine. What does that mean? When I am free to say what I want (freedom of
speech, one of our highest goals!) I do want to keep to my words and do
not want anybody to put words in my mouth I would never say.

Nevertheless do invariant sections in document not prune your freedom in
creating derived works. If the contents of a invariant chapter are
wrong for example, you are free to insert a note somewhere saying that
this chapter has to be there for license reasons but that it is simply
wrong and the reader should read another chapter that rectifies that.

It is simply that words do have other and more meanings than source
code. Code has exactly one meaning and exactly one purpose. Written
text, be it documentation or what ever, is much more than just the
combination of words you see in front of you. This is why I think we
must use other gauges for assessing texts and their licenses. This does
not mean we cannot apply the DFSG to such licenses. 

> this reply, but it would have been illegal for you to read it, thanks
> to the opportunistic encryption of SMTP/TLS!

I do not understand that.

Please note that everything written above is _my opinion_. This does not
mean that I am right and you are wrong, and this does neither mean that
I am wrong and you are right because you have another opinion. Why
always paint black and white?


Joerg "joergland" Wendland
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