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

On Mon, Sep 22, 2003 at 10:58:27AM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     If the whole doc was DFSG free, I believe no Debian maintainer 
>     would remove the political statements one could find in it.

> Two people have just said they would remove any essay that cannot
> be modified.

These two statements are noticeably not in opposition.  The DFSG do
not contain any provisions for invariant sections, so in the case of a
document containing invariant sections that can be removed but not
modified, it cannot be said that "the whole doc [is] DFSG free"; the
only form of the document which would be DFSG free is the one that has
been stripped of the invariant sections.

Yet indeed, if the whole document were freely modifiable, the political
statements would almost certainly be left intact.  While superficially
ironic, this is in fact quite fundamental:  you cannot truly build a
free society without granting its participants the freedom to reject
the very notion of freedom itself.  This is true of software (developers
must not be coerced into releasing their source, but must be allowed
to see for themselves the value in exchanging access to their source for
access to other copylefted works), and it's true of documentation.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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