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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

>     > We need every method of informing them that we can get.
>     Then why not go the Reiser[3] way and require that an advertisement
>     for the Free Software movement be printed out at every interactive
>     invocation of a GNU derived GPLed program?
> A long message at startup would be very inconvenient, simply for being
> long, regardless of its meaning.  A section of the same length in a
> manual would not cause any such inconvenience.  Nobody is "heavily
> affected" by a few extra pages in a large manual.

But what about those who would use the large manual to derive a small
manual?  You've granted one important freedom with the GFDL -- the
freedom to modify the existing work for its current purpose.

You've held back the freedom to derive works of new and different
purpose.  That's the core argument behind most of what's been said on
debian-legal: the controls on deriving new works are too onerous.

The technical arguments, like that regarding the "no technical
measures to restrict copying," which bans marking a GFDL'd file
anything other than world-readable, are probably surmountable with a
new version of the GFDL.  The ability of a vi-worshipping author to,
say, add an invariant section in his math-in-lisp text on editor
choice, thus forbidding use of anything from that text in any Elisp
manual, is too much of a restriction to be Free.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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