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Mahesh T. Pai wrote:

> I had a discussion with a DD friend on the GFDL; and we both felt that
> I  should share  my  views with  the  list. What  follows is  slightly
> modified text of one of my messages on the subject.
>  > I do not agree with RMS on GFDL.  It is too restrictive on
> But I do.
>  > transparent copies.  The debian  position statement, nicely sums up
>  > all the issues.
> And I agree with that also.
> Did I hear somebody say`huh?'?
> The point  is that there  are very valid  arugments in favour  of, and
> against, GFDL's (degree of) freeness.  GFDL suits the way FSF wants to
> do things; but does not suit the Debian way.
Well, to some extent, that's true.  Parts of the FSF don't think it suits
the way they should do things either, of course.

> For the  FSF, freedom is  the message, and  has to be  conveyed. FSF's
> invariant clauses  speak of  free software and  how users'  rights are
> affected by  software.  FSF  is not, should  not (and  justifiably so)
> concerned with, or can control what other people who use the GFDL (NOT
> FSF's GFDL'd  work) put in  their invariant clauses.

I just wish they didn't promote it for other people.  :-(  Frankly, I'd be
willing to accept it as a special FSF license for some things, but not as
"The GNU Free Documentation License".

> Several people in Debian (and outside it too) have other problems with
> the GFDL.  Such opinion typically  is that the GFDL  obstructs further
> copying  of the  copies you  *make*. These  people think  the  GFDL is
> written in English, which is a mistake.
> If you read the  GFDL in legalese, (and that is what  a court will do,
> if a dispute  arises), you will realise that the  GFDL does not oblige
> me to allow people access to a copy of a GFDL'd document I made for my
> use.   Therefore, I  am justified  in things  like using  an encrypted
> filesystem to store GFDL'd document.

We're quite unsure about that.  You a lawyer?  :-)  It's a drafting error,
to be sure, but I wouldn't be comfortable relying on courts to rule that it
means what we want it to mean.  Especially not in all possible cases!

The SystemC license, which came up recently, is written in legalese.  But I
can read it.  :-)

> FSF sees documentation as a vehicle to carry its message.
> Debian sees documentation as a vehicle to carry technical information.

I think you have a point.  However, some people in the FSF see it as a
vehicle to carry technical information too.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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