Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL
> That requirement is explicitly stated in DFSG3:
> > The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must
> > allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of
> > the original software.
On Tue, May 11, 2004 at 10:26:17AM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
> We don't require the right to relicense. That isn't a restriction on
> what kinds of derivations you can make, only a restriction on how they
> may be licensed.
And some licenses require that the text of the license be included in
the distributed work (the GPL is a good example of this), and require
at least some immutable text.
Some people have been claiming that these licenses if they don't
allow themselves to be modified conflict with the DFSG on this basis.
Typically they are explicitly claiming that the GPL is an example of a
license disallowed by the DFSG.
> > I think I understand what you mean, but also don't see that this is a
> > DFSG issue. There's some basis for this in the social contract, but
> > probably not as a hard and fast rule.
> The DFSG explicitly requires the legal right to make derived works, even
> if making such works is not a good idea for technical reasons. "I think
> it would be better to copy the ideas and not the content" is a technical
> issue, but "it should still be possible to copy the content" is a legal
I agree that the DFSG requires that it be possible to make and
distribute some derived works based on the original.
> >>Suppose busybox didn't exist, and you were writing it. For your
> >>documentation, you take the coreutils manual and modify it to document
> >>your commands, with information about what #defines must be enabled for
> >>each option to be available. Suppose also that the coreutils manual had
> >>the standard GNU Cover Texts and a couple of Invariant Sections.
> > Also, once I'd written busybox, I couldn't really use the gnu
> > documentation excerpts unchanged, because I'd have made many
> > simplifications to how things work.
> Of course, which is why you would want to modify that documentation.
No, I would not.
I'd want to examine it to determine the kernel interfaces it relies on
and write something else which uses those same interfaces.
The key issue, in this example, is the quality of information provided
for this task.
> Again, the DFSG does not require the right to relicense modifications,
> only to make them and distribute them under the same license as the
In the context of the DFSG, there have been a number of posts made by
others (some to debian-legal) which conflict with your point of view.
And that's the context in which I've been talking.