Re: Respect for Upstream Authors and Snippets of Interest
Mahesh T. Pai <email@example.com> wrote:
> I became aware of the concepts of free software, Debian, the FSF and
> the real meaning of 'free as in freedom' on doing some follow up
> reading after coming across other files in this very same directory
> (while using another distro). According to the consensus on this list,
> these files do not deserve to be in Debian, the OS.
> But, do please consider this situation :- If those files were
> modifiable / removable, and if somebody did, in fact, modify them, and
> I (or any other user) had come across that distro, I would never have
> turned to Debian. Please consider this fact while those packages /
> docs are being moved out to non-free.
You are talking about an unlikely situation (that such a distro would
gain huge market share) versus real concerns.
> > Debian does require the *right* to remove such snippets.
> Sure. Not only the snippets, but also the invariant sections in a
> GFDL'ed doc. But rights specific to Debian are not DFSG free.
> So the rights to modify will have to be granted to everybody. And one
> bad apple in that 'everybody', who would most likely have much money &
> marketing power *might* remove the philosophy and political parts, and
> create their own distros bereft of the 'free as in freedom'
> 'pontifications'. ;) This problem cannot be wished away by dual
> licensing these docs under GPL.
Still couldn't remove the license.
> On the other hand, the Debian Community has very valid points to
> object to the GFDL, It will be difficult for Debian to make
> concessions specific to copyrights held by the FSF. Any body can use
> the invariant sections to include unpalatable messages.
> RMS has a point when he argues that it is not sufficient to have free
> software. We need to constantly remind everybody about those
> freedoms. To that end, it is essential to educate users and every body
> else about the freedoms, and utilise every opportunity to spread the
> word. Paving the way for removal of the political/ philosophical
> messages about freedom in software of the kind published by the FSF
> would be counter - productive to the free software community (and
> therefore, Debian itself) in the long run.
Personally, I find it ironic that the FSF feel they have to use non-free
means to spread the word about free software, and feel strongly enough
about it to contaminate free manuals into non-free ones to do it.
> I think the only way out would be to create a separate section for
> GFDl'ed docs with invariant sections named something like GFDL-doc or
> doc-semifree (or whatever - nonfree is harsh and unwarranted term).
There's all sorts of border cases in non-free, including `no commercial