[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: There was never a chance of a "GFDL compromise"

Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com> writes:

> On Mon, 22 Sep 2003, Richard Stallman wrote:
>>       But if they were only removable without being modifiable, then
>>     yes, removing them would be the only way to include the
>>     accompanying documentation while still ensuring that all bits in
>>     Debian guarantee the freedoms that we require.
>> Not long ago, people were trying to reassure me that if invariant
>> sections were removable, nobody would remove them.  I guess not.
> If they[1] did, they spoke erroneously. However, what they almost
> surely said is that if the sections were DFSG Free, we would
> (probably) not remove them, and it's likely that we wouldn't modify
> them either.

Indeed -- observe the treatment of the KJV Bible, which many Debian
developers disagree with even packaging, but which exists as Free
Software in Debian: modifyable by Debian's users.

I see no reason to believe the political essays of the FSF would
receive worse treatment, were they equally free.

>> This reinforces my conclusion that it is essential for these sections
>> to be unremovable as well as unmodifiable.
> To serve the ends of GNU, perhaps. But it doesn't seem to serve the
> needs of the larger Free Software community.

More to the point, they are removable from Debian, and are apparently
likely to be so removed.  Functionally equivalent documentation will
be written to replace them, presumably forked from the last DFSG-free
manuals.  So I find your apparent justification for Invariant
political tracts -- that without them being Invariant sections tied to
the documentation, they won't get enough air time to promote Free
Software -- somewhat confusing.  It appears they'd get more exposure,
not less, from being Free as in Software.


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

Reply to: