Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal
> The issue at hand for Debian is whether to include GFDL-covered
> manuals in the Debian GNU/Linux system. I am sticking to that
Under the current GFDL 1.2, with the anti-DRM clause, there is
essentially no chance of that.
With all due respect, you do not necessarily know the answers to such
questions. For example, you wrote:
It is similarly the case that Debian is vanishingly
unlikely to distribute invariant political text, excepting only
metadata such as the terms and conditions of licenses for Debian's
This is more than just likely, it is a certainty. Debian distributes
the preamble of the GPL, which is invariant and required political
text that is not part of the terms and conditions of a license.
Debian can decide to use GNU manuals or not to use them. Whether
there are still many Debian developers reading this discussion who
have yet to make up their mind on the question, I don't know.
I would like to know.
If there are, then my participation in these discussions may achieve
something and I will continue. But if you are right that it is too
late to change the decision, then my effort is fruitless, and I ought
to stop this and do something else. Debian can go its own way while
the GNU Project continues on its way.
To the readers of this message: if you are a Debian developer and you
do, or perhaps might, support including manuals covered by the GFDL
(without expecting it to change) in Debian, please write to me and
tell me. (I am not subscribed to debian-legal and could not handle
the volume of mail.) But before you send it, please see if I have
sent a further message to debian-legal saying "enough!"
And that disconnection between purpose and methods really is what this
is about: the FSF is concerned about getting to a state where all
computer programs are free, and is willing to restrict freedoms in the
interim to get there.
There is no disconnect between our purpose and our methods. Our
licenses grant the freedoms that we are fighting for. We are
following the purposes and criteria we developed in the 80s.
Lately Debian has interpreted the DFSG in a way that is substantially
more strict than our criteria of free software, rejecting software
licenses that we consider free, totally aside from documentation
licenses such as the GFDL. If there is a disconnect, it is between
our methods (and purposes) and Debian's.