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Re: GFDL and incompatibility

Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:

> I have never considered the question of whether the GFDL is a free
> software license.  The question seems purely academic, since it is (1)
> not meant as a license for programs, and (2) clearly an annoying
> license to use for programs.  So I don't know if I would agree this
> is true.

You claim that it really doesn't matter, and yet, you have not payed
much attention to the examples of cases where the boundary between
documentation and software is blurry in the extreme.  An excellent
example is TeX or other such "literate programming" experiments.  Is
that software or documentation?

> What I can say is that the question has no practical significance.  If
> I have a manual for FOO, I might want to merge it with FOO.  Whether
> that is possible does have practical significance.  As I've explained,
> this cannot be a criterion for whether the manual's license is free,
> since merging may be forbidden due to incompatibility even with
> licenses that Debian agrees are free; also, there are other ways to
> get the job done when merging is impossible.  But at least the
> question is a real question.

My point is that a manual for FOO, if that manual is DFSG-free, can be
merged with at least some free software somewhere.  If it's a GFDL-d
manual, by contrast, it cannot be merged with any free software

And we have real-life examples where merging manual text into programs
is useful, so this isn't a fake question.


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