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Re: (DRAFT 4) FAQ on documentation licensing

Jacobo Tarrio <jtarrio@trasno.net> wrote:
> Q: Some documents need to have some parts which must not be modified. For
> example, RFC or other standards documents should not be modifiable at all.
> Or a piece may contain the author's opinion on something, and nobody should
> be allowed to misrepresent the author's position by modifying that piece.
> Isn't this a restriction that should be allowed in documents and not in
> programs?

Q: Shouldn't we allow documents which describe standards or
personal opinions to be non-modifiable? Why should we need the
same freedoms as for programs?

> Finally, if there were any reasons to allow such a restriction in documents,
> these reasons would allow it in programs too. For example, qmail's license
> forbids distributing modified versions of it, since its author believes that
> his reputation might suffer if someone distributed a version of qmail with
> bugs not introduced by him. If restrictions on modification of documents
> were allowed to save an author's reputation, they would be allowed on
> programs; this would make qmail free, but due to the DFSG it isn't, so these
> restrictions cannot be allowed.

I think a better example would be the demonstration
implementation of a protocol included with a standards
document. (I know it's popular (maybe even deserved) to kick
qmail, but why do it here?) I suggest:

Finally, if there are convincing reasons to allow such a
restriction for documents, these reasons can be used to allow
it for programs too. For example: a demonstration program for
a protocol included with a standards document. Both program
and document describe the protocol and the reputation of the
standards author(s) can be said to suffer if someone breaks
either one. A standards demonstration program would not be
said to follow the DFSG if it cannot be modified. Instead, the
licence may remind modifiers not to represent derived works as
that of the original author(s).

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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