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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

On Sat, Aug 23, 2003 at 08:09:53PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> The goal of invariant sections, ever since the 80s when we first made
> the GNU Manifesto an invariant section in the Emacs Manual, was to
> make sure they could not be removed.  Specifically, to make sure that
> distributors of Emacs that also distribute non-free software could not
> remove the statements of our philosophy, which they might think of
> doing because those statements criticize their actions.
> Changing the GFDL to permit removal of these sections
> would defeat the purpose.

At a cost. While I understand the desire for the invariant sections, it
can be wondered what freedom is most desirable: the freedom to run,
study, redistribute and improve for everyone, or the freedom to run,
study, redistribute and improve for only those that agree with your
philosophy, and will not remove it from any accompanying documentation.

If people disagree with what you say, you should not prohibit them from
doing so. You're still a well-known person who can reasonably assume
that what you write or say will not go unnoticed. Even if it's removed
from one distribution of a manual.

> Nowadays we have to struggle constantly against the tendency to bury
> the free software movement and pretend that we advocate "open source".

Is a manual the right place for advocacy? Isn't the purpose of a manual
to document a piece of software?

Wouter Verhelst
Debian GNU/Linux -- http://www.debian.org
Nederlandstalige Linux-documentatie -- http://nl.linux.org
"Stop breathing down my neck." "My breathing is merely a simulation."
"So is my neck, stop it anyway!"
  -- Voyager's EMH versus the Prometheus' EMH, stardate 51462.

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