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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

Raul Miller wrote:
> On Tue, May 11, 2004 at 03:50:15PM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
>>The DFSG requires that it be possible to make and distribute _all_
>>derived works based on the original, as long as such works can be
>>distributed under the terms of the original license (ignoring the patch
>>clause DFSG4 for the moment).
> You've emphasized the word "all" here.  When I read the DFSG, I see
> "all" used in the context of people, but not in the context of programs.
> I'd love it if you could show me where I'm wrong.
> [There's no particular need to assert that I'm wrong -- that's
> already been done a number of times today.]
> I'll grant that the "spirit of the DFSG" makes some kind of analogous
> assertion, but for reasons I've already pointed out I don't think that
> this exact assertion is completely accurate.

DFSG 3 states that "The license must allow modifications and derived
works".  If you read that as "some modifications and derived works",
then there must be some qualification for which ones, and no such
qualification is present in the DFSG.  If you read it as "all
modifications and derived works", no such qualification is necessary.
While the DFSG does not explicitly state which interpretation is
correct, it does not include the supporting information necessary for
the "some" interpretation to be valid.

>>With GPLed works, for example, we have
>>the right to make any derived work we want, as long as it is under the
>>GPL, so the GPL satisfies DFSG3.
> "as long as ..."
> Sure, it's "all programs except ___" or "not everything".  That's pretty
> much my point.

See above.  That qualification ("under the same license"), and only that
qualification, is present in DFSG 3.

>>>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.
>>But again, that is a technical concern, not a legal one.  Legally, you
>>should have the right to make such a derived work of the documentation.
> I believe that relates back to an issue with the GFDL which has a
> technical solution.

But as you said, the technical solution you suggested did not solve the
Freeness problem.

- Josh Triplett

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