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On Fri, 2004-05-07 at 23:25, Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> MJ Ray said on Sat, May 08, 2004 at 02:45:04AM +0100,:
>  > Has the  "GNU project  encyclopaedia" problem ever  been adequately
>  > dealt with?  This is  the idea that  you cannot incorporate  a work
>  > with the "Invariant GNU Manifesto"  into an encyclopedia of the GNU
>  > project because the manifesto is  no longer secondary, so cannot be
>  > invariant.  I  remember some answers that  this is a  silly book to
>  > want to produce if you are  not FSF (who hold the copyright and can
>  > do as they please), but that's not usually the licensor's choice in
>  > a free licence.
> Oh. I was oblivious to this aspect. 

FWIW, this has already happened to an online Wiki-based encyclopedia;
they were licensed under the GFDL and had conflicting invariant sections
without even realizing it.  I believe they relicensed after discovering

One other aspect that has bugged me about the GFDL from the beginning is
that invariant sections are "secondary", which is a nice, polite way of
saying "off-topic".  The GFDL is thus a license which gives all and
sundry the right to modify the document (hopefully for the better)
except for certain parts, which are declared to be off-topic; the
document is thus doomed to forever contain these off-topic parts,
despite the fact that pretty much any decent editor (the human kind, not
the electronic tool of the same name) will tell you that pretty much any
document would be improved by removing off-topic material.  Yes, I'm
aware that there are exceptions; when I see a Pulitzer or equivalent
writing prize awarded for something licensed under the GFDL I'll allow
that there may be an author worthy of such an exception.  Everyone else
ought to remove the off-topic material, in the interest of improving the
readability of the main document.
Stephen Ryan
Digital Rights Management is bad for all of us:

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