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Re: [DISCUSSION] SURVEY: Is the GNU FDL a DFSG-free license?



On Fri, Aug 22, 2003 at 09:51:39AM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
> What I am saying is that we need to have a two-part "California-style"
> ballot here:
> 
> 1. Do you believe that DFSG should apply to documentation?

That's not a question that the readers of debian-legal can answer for
the entire Project.  It is fodder for a GR.  Familiarity with copyright
law and experience reading licenses is not useful for forming one's
opinion on this question in the way that it is for the question I
actually posed.

You don't need to know what the Berne Convention says about copyright
notices, or what "droit d'auteur" means and in which countries it is a
legal principle to feel that the GNU Emacs Manual or Netscape Navigator
should be part of the Debian distribution.

> 2. If DFSG should apply to documentation, what should be the disposition of
> GFDL according to DFSG?  (This is the question you asked.)

Correct.  This is a question that be answered better by people
knowledgable[1] about copyright laws, and who have experience thinking
about software licenses and how they do and not meet the requirements of
the DFSG and our Social Contract.

When studying licenses and testing them against the DFSG, it can be
useful to know what the Berne Convention says about copyright notices,
or what "droit d'auteur" means and in which countries it is a legal
principle.

> I don't think that the answer to question two can be relevant unless we have
> established that the answer to question 1 is "yes".

I think we already have an answer.  "Debian Will Remain 100% Free
Software.  We promise to keep the Debian GNU/Linux Distribution entirely
free software."[2]

If people want debian-legal to reason from a conflicting premise, they
should get a GR passed that changes the Social Contract first.

[1] most of us aren't lawyers, we don't render legal advice, get your
    own lawyer if you want a legal opinion per se, etc.

[2] http://www.debian.org/social_contract

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |     Don't use nuclear weapons to
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     troubleshoot faults.
branden@debian.org                 |     -- US Air Force Instruction 91-111
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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