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Re: Starting to talk

Mathieu Roy wrote:

>Free, in think that everybody agree, but under which definition of
>freedom? Does the DFSG definition of freedom that applies to program
>(nobody question that) help us to draw the line at the correct place
>also for documentation?

Many people, including the author of the DFSG, have stated that they
believe that the DFSG was intended to apply to documentation as well.
The number of people arguing that documentation should not fall under
the standards of freedom set out by the DFSG has been quite small, and
none of these people have yet produced a useful set of freedoms that
should apply to documentation (with the exception of RMS, I guess)

>In other terms, do we consider the fact that we cannot modify a
>political essay in a documentation so harmful that we would prefer
>stopping delivering this documentation?

>From the lack of calls for an ammendment to the constitution, it would
appear that we do.

>I think personally that it is harmful to do so and harmless to let
>that essays where they are, since they do not interfere with the
>program and documentation usability.

Indeed, that is your right.

>Apart from MJ Ray, which think that any document should follow the
>Free Software rules, software or not, nobody against the GFDLed text
>inclusion clearly stated his point of view.

I believe that documents distributed as part of a Free operating system
should follow the DFSG. This does not mean that I believe that non-Free
documentation is unacceptable, or that all books should be Free. It
means that I believe that the contents of a Free operating system should
all be held to the same standards of freedom. Nothing more, nothing

>People are complaining about this discussion being endless. But they
>just have to say what they are thinking good or bad for Debian in this
>case, not just what is their interpretation of a text. Right, in this
>case -project is maybe a more appropriate place, but it is here where
>the discussion started.

A discussion in -project is far more likely to be useful than one taking
place here. It's fairly clear in what debian-legal's general opinion is
- however, it's not debian-legal's job to decide the philosophical basis
of the contents of Debian.

The current situation is that the DFSG is intended to cover everything
within Debian, including documentation. It is the opinion of
debian-legal that the GFDL does not conform to the DFSG. Further
discussion of a "Should the DFSG apply to documentation" nature here is
pointless, as it is not within debian-legal's power to make that

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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