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Re: Unidentified subject!

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

> Any free software or free documentation license that has nontrivial
> requirements can have results like this.  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
> licenses.

Nobody has made that the stance.  You *seem* to be saying that any
"requirement" is ok, as long as you can still "use" the text.  But
"use" incorporates many things, and some of them you think are things
you want to support, and others you don't care about.

For example, I might use a manual by tearing it into pieces and using
the individual pages as confetti for a parade.  But I cannot copy
GFDL'd manuals and then do this.  

Now that's of course a silly example, but it demonstrates the point:
there are cases which are silly uses, and cases which are reasonable
uses, and you have decided that you want to preserve the freedom of
the reasonable uses and forget the silly ones.  

And then, in between the silly ones and the reasonable ones, there are
a whole lot more, with some pretty darn ambiguous cases.

What I have not seen is what you think is the right test to use for
whether a "requirement" has become a freedom-impinging *restriction*.  

My previous question is still the right one, I think.  How would you
go about explaining why "send $1 to the author for permission to make
changes to this program" is not a mere "requirement", but actually
kills freedom?  (Indeed, that even "send one cent for each hundred
copies" is a freedom-killing restriction!)

Debian has a way of answering that question: but our way, which
involves the DFSG, would say that "send $1 to the author for
permission to make changes" is wrong for the same reasons that "send
$1 to the author for permission to make copies", and is wrong for the
same reason that we think that invariant sections are wrong.

You are asking us to use a different way of determining the answer,
but I have not heard an explanation of what that different way would
actually look like.  The principal argument in favor of the GFDL seems
to be "this is the only way we can get our message out".  Debian has
been pretty successful at getting our message out, without needing
invariant sections, that we find this implausible.


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