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> Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
>> MJ Ray said on Fri, May 07, 2004 at 11:57:30AM +0100,:
> And if the GFDL is not  modified adequately, it will be appropriate to
> have  a  separate  section  for semi-free  documentation.  This  might
> require some efforts  to vet the contents and  the invariant sections,
> but  do we not  spend efforts  on checking  the dependencies  of GPL'd
> code? (for deciding whether they should go into main or contrib?)

Why do we need a semi-free section?  If the documentation is Free, it
goes in main, and if it isn't, it goes in non-free as long as it is
distributable and Debian wants to distribute it.

> At least, the documents with  verbatim licenses (like RFCs or the ones
> which come with emacs) can be put here.

So your proposed semi-free section might contain works that cannot be
modified at all, only distributed verbatim?  Our only criteria for
non-free is "we can redistribute it", so anything too non-free for
semi-free would be too non-free for non-free as well.  What would go in

>  > I am quite happy if someone tries to take my words and use them for
>  > another end. (Hell, they have in the past!)
> Most people would be unhappy when their *political* words are twisted.
> The  problem  arises  when  political  speech  gets  intertwined  with
> technical documentation.

Many Free Software authors would be upset at some uses of their
software, but that does not mean that Debian should consider a license
Free that prohibits use by opressive governments, or by DMCA enforcers
(see previous item), or in "Treacherous Computing" architectures, even
if Debian agreed that such uses are abhorrent.  The FSF themselves say
the same thing in their rejection of one such license, which prohibits
uses for spyware and human-rights violations:
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/hessla.html .  Yet when it comes to
political speech, the FSF does not even want to allow modified versions
that promote their cause, let alone versions that attack it.

>  > I feel I have nothing to  fear from open debate and people deciding
>  > for themselves.
> But you  overlook the  possibility of people  being misled  by twisted
> words.  Consequences  of a misrepresented opinion are  worse than that
> of malicious code inserted (mis)using liberty granted by the GPL. 

No one said that it should be possible to misrepresent someone's
opinion.  (See Nathanael Nerode's "Why you shouldn't use the GNU FDL" at
http://home.twcny.rr.com/nerode/neroden/fdl.html , in particular the
section "It's not about misrepresentation!".)  Debian routinely accepts
licenses that require modified versions to clearly note that they are
modified; see the zlib license for one such clause that has been
accepted in Debian:
> 2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must
> not be misrepresented as being the original software.

The GPL has a similar clause, albeit a little more specific:
> You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating
> that you changed the files and the date of any change.

As long as opinions are not misrepresented, people have the ability to
read different documents with different opinions and make a rational
choice as to what they believe, without "being misled by twisted words".

- Josh Triplett

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