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Re: (DRAFT) FAQ on documentation licensing

On Wed, 13 Apr 2005 16:14:23 +0200 Jacobo Tarrio wrote:

>  This should be useful for people who ask about the GFDL, documentation
> licensing guidelines, etc.

Thanks for doing this job!  :)

>  Comments, additions, removals, rewordings are allowed and requested. There
> are no invariant parts ;-)

Of course!  ;-)

>  When/if it becomes more or less stable, it would be useful for the DFSG
> FAQ, I think...

I agree.

>  A: The DFSG is a set of minimum criteria that are taken into account
>  when
> deciding if a particular copyright license is free or not.

I would prefer "if a particular /work/ is free or not."

>  A: See the previous question. Even if it doesn't convince you or you
>  can
> live with the ambiguity described there, the existence of different
> DFSG and DFDG would mean that there are some freedoms that are
> necessary for programs but are irrelevant for documents, and vice
> versa, as will be exemplified in the following questions.

I would add "Nobody has yet provided a convincing rationale to explain
*why* programs and documents should need a different minimum set of
freedoms. The Debian project claims that the same freedoms are important
for both programs and documents."

>  Q: The ability to keep certain parts of a document is essential for
>  some
> kinds of document. For example, RFC or other standards documents
> should not be modifiable. Or a piece may contain the author's opinion
> on something, and nobody should be allowed to represent the author's
> position by modifying that piece.


>  A: First, standards documents should be modifiable: that's how old
> standards are improved and new standards are made. Modifying a copy of
> a standards document, such as a RFC, does not modify the RFC itself.

[Comment] I agree particularly on this and would like to point out that
it's exactly where many people fail to understand our position: they
fail to see the difference between creating a derivative work and
modifying the work itself (and sometimes even modifying the author's
opinions! Hey! How could I do that? I have no hypnotic powers! ;-)

>  If what's really intended is to stop someone from passing a modified
> document as the original, other means can be used, such as trademark
> laws or slander/libel laws already existing in most jurisdictions.

Perhaps it's better avoiding recommending trademarks or otherwise we
should be prepared to see more and more Mozilla-like mess in the
future...  :-(

>  It is the same situation in a program. For example, if the license of
>  a
> "kill all spiders" game forbade to make versions with cats instead of
> spiders (because the authors love cats while they loathe spiders),
> this license would be considered non-free, even when it would be
> protecting the authors' own opinions.

[Comment] Good example. My favorite one is the following: if the license
of a MUA forbade to add HTML mail support (because the authors are
philosophically against HTML mail), this license would be considered
non-free, even when it would be protecting the authors' own opinions.

    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
 Key fingerprint = C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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