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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

On Fri, Aug 22, 2003 at 10:14:31AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> One of the main sticking points with the GFDL is the use of invariant
> sections, which may not be removed or altered (save for some very
> inconsequential exceptions.)  One thing about the invariant sections is that
> the GFDL specifically states that they "contain nothing that could fall
> directly within the overall subject."  They have thus typically been used to
> hold philosophical documents, licenses, etc.
> I suggest that even if the GFDL did not allow modification of the invariant
> sections, if it at least allowed removal of them, we would be in much better
> shape.  It would, for instance, allow people to better take the manual from
> program A and adapt it for program B, even if they disagreed with the GNU
> Manifesto or used a different license for program B.
> In the case of a manual that includes invariant sections, we could then
> throw just the invariant section into non-free, keeping the balance of the
> manual in main.  (Or perhaps just delete the invariant sections entirely.)

We'd probably go with this one, which is why the FSF won't buy into
this: they want their documents to force certain pieces of their
propaganda upon all distributors. They'll phrase it differently, but
that is fundamentally what they are trying to accomplish.

In short, the FSF wants non-free documentation. There's nothing
intrinsically wrong with that, it's just no use to us. We want free
documentation instead. I predict that within a few years, free
documentation will be produced (possibly even by the people who wrote
it for the FSF originally) and the FSF will cease to be relevant on
this issue.

Other than that, you have successfully managed to approximate the
position from which we *started* the GFDL debate, presumably without
actually bothering to research it.

Plus, invariant sections are just one of many issues that have been
raised with the GFDL. Replacing one non-free license with another
which is less non-free, but still non-free, is not useful to us.

As for compromises: no. Free or fuck off.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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