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Re: [Fwd: Re: Bug#304316: section non-free/doc]

On 4/20/05, Matthew Garrett <mgarrett@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> Michael K. Edwards <m.k.edwards@gmail.com> wrote:
> > For the record, so long as implementations of software freedom are
> > copyright-based, documents from which fragments cannot legally be cut
> > and pasted into the software they accompany do not belong in main.
> > This applies most emphatically to the GFDL and to RFCs, inconvenient
> > as that may be.
> When did license incompatibility become a freeness issue?

When we're talking about something where the program and the
documentation arguably form a single work.  Frankly, I think the case
for license incompatibility between a program and its documentation
being a legal problem (once they are modified and distributed by a
third party) is much stronger than the case against linking a GPL
library into a GPL-incompatible application.

Legally, I can't modify a glibc API and then paste my revisions into
the glibc documentation, because my changes truly are a work derived
from GPL material and can't be amalgamated with GFDL material.  I
think this is an unacceptable situation, and that (in addition to
other problems with the GFDL) Debian shouldn't distribute in main
documents that can't legally be kept up to date with non-trivial
modifications to the programs they describe.

- Michael

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