Re: (DRAFT 4) FAQ on documentation licensing
O Mércores, 20 de Abril de 2005 ás 14:53:18 +0000, MJ Ray escribía:
> 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?
That's a good one (although I don't like the last question very much, I'm
putting it in anyway).
> 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:
Well, I wrote about qmail because it was the example I knew best. Hey, I
even understood his reasons! ;-)
Ok, ok, I'm leaving DJB alone... the Q now reads:
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
A: Mainly, for three reasons: such a restriction is unnecessary, it is
useless and it is not true that it would be less appropriate for programs
than for documentation.
First, misrepresentation can be prevented without forbidding anyone to
modify the work, by requiring all modified works to not claim that they are
the original work or that they were written by the original authors; so, the
restriction is unnecessary.
Furthermore, a clause in a copyright license would not stop anyone from
misrepresenting the work or its authors. For example, I might create a new,
original document titled "RFC 2821, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol" with a
distorted description of SMTP, and with this action I would not be
contravening the license of the IETF's RFC 2821. The proper defense against
this are the various laws dealing with libel, fraud and impersonation. So,
such a restriction would be useless.
Finally, if there were any reasons to allow such a restriction in documents,
these reasons would allow it in programs too. For example, a standards
document might be accompanied by a demonstration program. One could say that
the reputations of the authors of the document and the program may suffer if
someone breaks either one of them. If Debian allowed any restriction on
modification of the document, Debian should also allow the same restriction
on modification on the program, so this kind of restrictions would not be
more appropriate for documentation than for programs.
Jacobo Tarrío | http://jacobo.tarrio.org/