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



Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet quoth:
It's not very popular, but since the US became a party to the
Berne Convention they have to recognize moral rights. And it's
in 17 US Code 106A.
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106a

Arnoud
Note first that these only apply to a "work of visual art", so are often irrelevant to Debian.

Supposing these are relevant to a particular case, however, it's worth noting that most "moral rights" create no freeness problem.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the attribution-related rights (106A.a.1 and 106A.a.2). There's no need to make a section "invariant" in order to preserve those rights, and those rights don't have any conflict with the DFSG.

Preventing destruction (106A.a.3.B) is totally irrelevant to anything digital; because of the infinite reproducibility, a distributor of copies *can't* 'destroy' the work as a whole. :-)

106A.a.3.A is potentially a problem. This is the garbage about 'preserving the integrity' of the work, and could theoretically be abused as a sort of unstoppable mega-copyright. Although this seems like quite a stretch to me.

However, if an author believes that modifications of his work may be "prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation" without being illegal for other reasons (libel, slander, fraud, misrepresentation, etc.), I think that that work is unequivocally not DFSG-free and should not be allowed in Debian! A work where its author plans to restrict what modification can be made does not belong in Debian. It probably wouldn't hurt to get statements from authors saying "I do not consider any modification which does not violate other laws or infringe other specific rights to be prejudicial to my honor or repuation".



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