Re: A possible GFDL compromise
> The fact that you're talking about a hypothetical example decades away
> suggests that this is not a major issue. But we can consider the
> issue anyway.
In this case, part of the reason for using a hypothetical is the fact
the only people using extended Invariant Sections is the FSF, and it's
easier to argue that some hypothetical invariant section is odious than
argue that the FSF invariant sections are. And in any analysis of a
license, surely we must assume that some besides the FSF is going to
exercise the invariant sections.
> The scenario shows directly that this is an inconvenience, not a real
> lack of freedom. The author of the GF45 compiler might prefer not to
> use your regexp documentation, but he is free to use it, and using it
> is feasible.
Then what is a real lack of freedom? I could use the regex code under
an invariant license; I could use the regex code that had comments
under an invariant license. Both would be inconveniences that could
be worked around. I'm free to use them, and using them is feasible.
In practice, people use unmodified library code all the time. But this
text, which I desperately want to change or remove, I can't, but that's
merely an inconvenience?
And given a big, sometimes nasty, world, he might very well not be
free to use it. He may be in a country, or working for someone, that
will not tolerate him espousing the message in that invariant section
in any way.
> For instance, there are
> cases where people choose not to use a GPL-covered program because the
> GPL has requirements that they don't want to follow. If you adopt the
> stance that any license condition that someone might be reluctant to
> follow is unacceptable, you'd have to reject most free software
There's a difference. The GPL is full of technical requirements. But when
Amnesty International releases its freedom fighting robot code under the GPL,
I'm free to reuse it for my baby mulcher. Any free software license
guarentees that. But I can't in any meaningful way do that for the GFDL
manual, because it comes with political requirements - that you print in
your derivative manual these political statements. That's a substantial
difference, and one that leads me to conclude that the GFDL is not free
enough for Debian.
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