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

Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> 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.

Thanks for pointing that out, I had missed that. It's quite uncommon,
as the Berne Convention itself does not have such a restriction. But
the US has said they're not going to do more than this and the Berne
Convention is not self-executing, so too bad (17 USC Appendix II).

> 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.

It can be used as a super-copyright, but there has to be some
argument as to why the honor or reputation of the author is
damaged by the modification. I am not sure what argument you
would use if you release your software under a free software 
license, which everyone knows allows others to modify the work.

> 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".

A problem with that is that most countries forbid authors to
make such statements. If they do anyway, the statements are
null and void. Otherwise everyone could just get around moral
rights by simply putting that in every contract. 


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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