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Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

On Thu, Sep 18, 2003 at 02:15:50PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Thu, 18 Sep 2003, Florian Weimer wrote:
> > Anthony DeRobertis <asd@suespammers.org> writes:
> >> And we very clearly treat everything in Debian as software (see the
> >> first clause of the Social Contract).
> > 
> > Not quite.  Texts of licenses and logos typically fail DFSG tests.
> The text of licenses (and copyrights) under which a package is
> licensed should be the only things in Debian that do not meet the
> DFSG, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, I was thinking about this the other night. Would it be useful to
enumerate this as an exception? And, should it also be an exception
for license/copyright texts that are not attached to a work? I'm
thinking of the license texts in common-licenses.

> > Lots of graphics (and probably some audio material, too) come in a
> > form that can be considered "source code" (because it's not the
> > preferred form of doing modifications, e.g. a flattened image vs. a
> > layered one).
> If it's the only form available, then suddenly it's the prefered form
> for modification. However, in cases like this, maintainers and
> upstream authors should really attempt to keep the prefered form for
> modification around. In cases where it hasn't been done, we should
> work with upstream authors to make sure it happens in the future.

Sure. I feel more relaxed about artistic works which aren't
programs. For example, a graphic image's prefered form for
modification may not even be software; it may be a physical medium
such as a 'grafiti wall'.

> > And what about research papers?  Do you want to ban them, too, even
> > if they are directly relevant to one of Debian's packages and help to
> > understand how the software works?
> Again, in cases where appropriate, we should have access to the
> prefered form of modification for those research papers. If not, they
> should merely be referenced so they can be retrieved.

Research papers are easily software.

Yes, I'm traditionalist. Software is anything that can be treated as a
sequence of bits in a computer. Documentation is software. Ham
sandwiches aren't. :)

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