Re: There was never a chance of a "GFDL compromise"
> 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.
Notice that the first person said "DFSG free", and you said "cannot be
modified". Those are not the same things. All parts of a DFSG free
doc can be modified.
You're right, I misunderstood that point. I did not realize that "If
the whole doc was DFSG free" meant "if the political essays could be
modified", because I didn't imagine anyone would be so extreme--until
someone said it explicitly and unmistakably. Also, some messages
posted here a few months ago seemed to express an opposite view, that
unmodifiable but removable essays would be ok, and nobody disagreed
with that at the time.
Anyway, I stand corrected on that point.
The point I am making is that Debian might indeed remove the political
essays from our manuals if they could be removed. A few months ago,
some people said here that if only the invariant sections could be
removed (even though they could not be modified), nobody would ever
remove them. Now people are saying they would indeed be removed.
The GFDL is doing its job by guarding against this. Debian may label
our manuals as "non-free", an appelation I disagree with and will
criticize, but at least it cannot remove them.
I was considering the idea of making the GFDL say "You can use this
material under the GPL too (aside from the invariant sections, which
cannot be modified)". Someone rightly reminded me a week ago that
commercial publishers might be reluctant to use the GPL alternative,
which was a point in favor of it.
But now I see that this idea has a serious drawback: Debian would
probably immediately remove the invariant sections and distribute the
manual sans invariant sections under the GPL. I think that nixes it.