Re: Not inherently free, but inherently non-free?
Martin Schulze wrote:
> I wonder if all documents licensed under the GNU Free Documentation
> License are inherently non-free with regards to the Debian Free
> Software Guidelines.
> I thought that if no invariant sections were used the document would
> still be considered free. However, if invariant sections were used
> for anything other than the license, the document would become
> non-free. Since we don't require licenses to be altered I guess that
> the same would apply to an invariant section, I guess.
There's actually a nasty catch in that a license as an "Invariant Section"
can't be removed even if it's not the license applied to the work.
(For instance, a work might be licensed under the GFDL "version 1 or later",
but with the GFDL version 1 as an "Invariant Section". If the FSF released
the GFDL v. 4, the GFDL v. 1 would *still* have to be carried around as an
So Invariant Sections can't be used for the license, either, in many cases,
without rendering it DFSG-non-free.
> There seems to be some confusion about whether the GNU FDL renders
> every document non-free or only those that include invariant
> sections. The result is that... er... I am confused as well...
Every document. (Well, absent lots of additional permissions, of course,
but the same could be said of any non-free license.)
If the so-called "DRM restriction" problem were dealt with (by issuing an
amended GFDL or making a specific exception) -- and the problems with
transparent and opaque copies were cleared up (similarly) -- *then* a
document under the GFDL could be free -- if it had no Invariant Sections
*or* Cover Texts.
As far as I can tell there has been precisely zero progress on an of these
There are none so blind as those who will not see.