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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

> Nowadays we have to struggle constantly against the tendency to bury
> the free software movement and pretend that we advocate "open source".
> So I don't think we can conclude that such precautions are no longer
> necessary.

It's true that many have gladly taken GNU software while ignoring the
GNU philosophy (or actively working against it).  But I doubt that
invariant sections alone can ensure that the message will be heard.

For example, I might want to distribute the GNU Emacs manual without
the GNU Manifesto.  I could achieve something which is very close,
even though the Manifesto is an invariant section: I just patch the
Info viewers not to display the Manifesto.  As far as I can see, I'm
still allowed to distribute the modified Info viewer under the GPL,
and the (unmodified) manual under the GFDL.

However, if someone did something similar, I'd expect quite a lot
of additional publicity for the GNU Manifesto.  Furthermore, the
publicity wouldn't depend much on the legality of the removal or
suppression.  Journalists who are interested in free software
philosphy and its battles would report it nevertheless, and those who
are after awkward legal problems have such a limited audience that
their silence wouldn't matter that much.

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