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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> writes:

> On Tue, May 11, 2004 at 04:18:22PM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>> as the GFDL.  The parenthetical is false.  The GPL does not require
>> that it be included in the distributed work, merely with the
>> distributed work.
> I don't think this is a very meaningful distinction, for the context I
> was discussing.

The distinction is very important when discussing the freeness or
non-freeness of the GFDL.

> Given that the GPL applies only when a notice is contained in the
> work,

That is not true.  For example, I have next to me a watercolor
painting licensed under the GPL.  The work itself does not contain a
notice; rather, there is a tag next to it which gives its title,
copyright information, and the fact that it is licenses to all those
who receive a copy -- though not all viewers -- under the terms of the
GNU GPL, version 2.

Similarly, I could hand you a book and tell you that I license to you
all my rights in that book under the terms of the GPL, and the GPL
would apply.

> and given that you must keep that notice intact, ... well you still have
> the notice (or notices), which you must leave intact, that's still --
> in the fully general sense that some people seem to want to use --
> a restriction on modifications to the work.

You are incorrect due to overgeneralization.  You must leave a notice
iff there was a notice.  But, for a start, that is only a mark on the
source code.  It need not impact the compiled program at all.  That
is, it must be visible to one inspecting the program, but not to one
using the program.  You must also leave the notice on an interactive
program intact, but that is also a much weaker limitation -- it does
not apply to noninteractive programs, for example.

> However, it is true that my presentation of the idea was too simplistic..
> -- 
> Raul

Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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