Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL
On May 2, 2004, at 14:25, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
"obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies
you make or distribute"
In other words, clause isn't about copying, but about "further
I read it as:
(obstruct OR control) (the reading OR further copying) of the
copies you (make OR distribute)
So, it is a license violation to do any of the following:
1) obstruct the reading of the copies you make
2) control the reading of the copies you make
3) obstruct the further copying of the copies you make
4) control the further copying of the copies you make
5) obstruct the reading of the copies you distribute
6) control the reading of the copies you distribute
7) obstruct the further copying of the copies you distribute
8) control the further copying of the copies you distribute
(Wow, 2^3 is 8 and I actually got 8 of 'em above. Amazing...)
I believe this indicates that once you've given a copy to someone else,
you've not placed specific technical obstacles in the way of them
You'd think that's what they meant, but they said 'copies you MAKE OR
distribute' not just 'copies you distribute'.
I'm fairly confident the phrase "technical measures to obstruct or
control" refers to the concept of having a legal right to obstruct
control the reading or copying of the document after distribution.
If they wanted to prohibit you from using legal measures --- the DMCA,
for example --- why did they say "technical measures" instead of "legal
More specifically, since the GFDL is a legal document, the primary
effect of this clause is to deny someone the right, in court, of
someone else has subverted the barriers they placed on copying.
Maybe they intended that, but it's not what they wrote.
I agree the GFDL's invariant sections are troublesome. However,
redistribution of derived works are allowed, so Clause 3 of the DFSG
isn't the issue.
Last time I looked --- and everyone else on this list looked --- the
GFDL did not allow me to distribute a derived work that modified or
removed invariant sections.
DFSG doesn't demand that you can change some things. It demands that
you can change all things.
The current DFSG does not prohibit bloat. Bloat is something which we
No, it does not prohibit bloat. I does, however, prohibit legally
Finally, I'm a bit dubious about the Dissident Test in this context.
If someone doesn't want to be listed as an author, they might simply
invent an entity or some surrogate name and list this entity as
the responsible party.
If its acceptable to use pseudonyms, then that concern goes away.
Notice how Manoj worded it "There is some concern..." as in we aren't
completely agreed or sure of that issue.
[Similarly, if some crazy government imposes
penalties on people who distribute documents containing the letter "e",
this is a problem in that government, not a problem in Debian.]
But if the license requires that the document be at least 10% e's, then
its a license problem.
Freedoms For Documentation
These look like worthwhile goals, but do not look like DFSG issues.
Many, if not all of them, are.
Conclusion: a number of the points in the position statement look like
they could be real problems in a number of circumstances, but few of
(if any) are DFSG issues.
Please read the discussions of the GFDL in the archives of -legal.