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My understanding of the GFDL issue


I'd like to thank people who helped me making those things clear, and
especialy Nathanael Nerode and Josselin Mouette.

I think I can share my understanding of the GFDL problem to
debian-legal newcomers or those who did not participate to the
debate. I took me quite some time to understand but I think I made
progress in the right direction. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

- According to Social Contract, clause 1, every byte in Debian is
software and must be free, no matter it is program, documentation,
data, whatever

- A software in Debian is considered as free if it fullfills the
Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG)

- the GDFL is not DFSG-compliant, which means that any _work_ licensed
under GFDL cannot be distributed in main

- additionaly, the GFDL is not GPL-compatible so one cannot mix GFDL
_works_ and GPL _works_

Basically, studying the Social Contract and the DFSG should be enough
to lead to the same conclusion.

What is irrelvant in debian-legal and can be changed through a General
Resolution (GR), in the debian-project list:

- Do we have to limit software to computer programs and have
separate guidelines for documentation?

I'll personaly never been in favour of a big GFDL documentation purge
in main because I feel that our users are innocent victims of Debian
vs FSF disagreement and will be disappointed of seeing their manual
vanish.  However, one has to admit that there is no obvious solution
at present.

I hope that Debian and the FSF will keep on discussing and working
together and some solution will be found in the middle run to satisfy
our users.

Finally, in order to make things clear, debian legal people are
neither zealots nor bigots. Please accept my apologies if I offended
you with what was meant to be a joke. It looks like some words shall
never be used in jokes :-(

Thanks for reading.

Best Regards,

Jérôme Marant

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