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

On Sun, 24 Aug 2003, Joe Wreschnig wrote:

>On Sun, 2003-08-24 at 13:37, Fedor Zuev wrote:
>> On Sat, 23 Aug 2003, Matthew Garrett wrote:
>> >This still fails - as a result of the use of invariant sections, I
>> >am unable to use content from one piece of documentation in another
>> >piece of documentation under the same license under certain
>> >circumstances. I'm not aware that this is true of anything we
>> >regard as DFSG Free.
>> 	License incompatability is not an unusual thing for the free
>> software licenses.

>Reread what he said. He cannot use content from one document in
>another document *under the same license as the first one*. This is
>because the Invariant secondary section in the first document might
>not be secondary in the second document, and so cannot be
>Invariant, and so cannot be used. Nor can any section that is
>attached to the invariant section (that is, any other section in
>the work).

	There, IMHO, is a subtle difference between a creating
derivative work, and using a part of work in the completely
unrelated other work. But you, of course, may disagree. I just reply
to the words, and not try to clairvoyant a thoughts.

>For example, say I wanted to use parts of the GCC manual to write a book
>"The History of Free Compilers". The GNU Manifesto is now clearly a
>non-secondary section, since it's obviously immediately related to the
>history of free compilers. So, I can't use any of the GCC manual in
>writing it.

	Heh. A very carefully crafted example. One step left or
right and you will not get your example.

	But, do you believe that your "History of Free Compilers" is
a "manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document"? GFDL

The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other
functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: <...>

We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for
free software, because free software needs free documentation:<...>

We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is
instruction or reference.

When you try to apply license outside of its scope you should expect
to receive funny results. GFDL has a very narrow scope. It is bad.
But it is different problem.

>Saying this is a "license incompatibility" is like saying I can't
>integrate Windows source into the Linux kernel because it's a license
>incompatibility. Strictly, it is, but no one would ever call it that
>because the "incompatibility" is so great that we classify Windows as
>non-free and stop caring about it at all.

	Yes, exactly. You can't integrate Windows source into the
Linux kernel just because of license incompatibility. Windows source
is also non-free, but this is a different (however related) matter.

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