[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: A possible GFDL compromise

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.)

What do people here think about that, and is there any indication if the FSF
would be amenable to this change?
I'd be quite pleased with that change, as the non-removability was the first thing I spotted as obviously non-free, and the most repugnant.

However, non-removabability was essential to RMS's original motivation behind the Invariant Sections. He wanted everyone who distributes an Emacs manual to be forced to distribute the GNU Manifesto with it. So getting the FSF to accept this change will probably be about as easy as getting them to abandon Invariant Sections entirely.


Reply to: