[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Re: query from Georg Greve of GNU about Debian's opinion of the FDL

>>  br> Your analysis ignores the fact that the GNU FDL does not permit
>>  br> Invariant Sections to be omitted entirely from the work when it
>>  br> is redistributed.  If the GNU FDL did that, it would take a giant
>>  br> step towards DFSG-freeness.

>> Interpretation B -- which you probably meant -- is already included in
>> the analysis, as cutting out parts is also modification.

>Cutting out all of the Invariant Sections is modification of the
>Invariant Sections? This sounds a bit like John Cage's copyrighted

In my opinion cutting out is not modification, but if the author marked a section invariant he meant also that the part he has marked as invariant shouldn't be deleted from the document. So invariant sections shouldn't be cut out.
Why is it required by the DFSG that invariant sections be cut out?
You can't cut out copyright statements from source files, can you?
Many of them require that the copyright be invariant, and cannot be cut (which I perfectly agree with). If a document under GFDL doesn't contain invariant sections, is it DFSG free then? (it should be) And why should invariant sections be allowed to be cut ou?. If somebody wants that piece removed he should contact the author, and convince him to remove that piece. If somebody just quotes from the GFDL docs, than he can leave out the invariant sections? Well he should be able to, because it would make no sense to include it in just a quote. I am not sure what the GFDL states about this, maybe somebody from GNU could tell me clearly?
I think invariant sections should refer to the document as a whole.
Look at number 4 in the DFSG: Integrity of the Author's Source Code. Well Invariant Sections in documentation seem like Integrity in Source Code.

"The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form _only_ if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time"
Restriction from distributing in modified form = invariant sections.
patch files: someone could make patch files to remove those sections from the documentation. " The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code". I am not sure of GFDL's status here. But maybe the GFDL should be modified to allow distribution of modified documentation with explicit statement that invariant sections have been removed (not modified!), a location to retrieve the original documentation/ or the invariant sections.

In short:
1. The GFDL should allow removal of invariant sections, but with explicit statements where to find them, and possibly why they were removed
2. GFDL documentation containing no invariant sections *MUST* be DFSG-free
3. Cutting out invariant sections from GFDL documentation without explicitly stating it *MUST* not be allowed 4. If under any circumstances GFDL documentation containing invariant sections, cannot be accepted as DFSG-free then:
    - these documentation packages should be moved to non-free
- a "dummy" package should be left in main, containing a file stating how to get the non-free package, and that it is non-free because it is under GFDL with invariant sections.

Note: the statements above represent my opinion, and it is not my intention to tell people what to do, I just stated what I think "should" be done. Please comment on my statements above in replys to this mail, I'd like to see comments both from the GNU people, and from the Debian people.

>By the way, I was not at all convinced by your analysis. I would have
>thought that the best way to defuse moral rights would be to have the
>whole document be a mishmash of contributions from different authors.
>Including an invariant and unremovable section by a single author
>seems like a recipe for increasing the risk of moral rights affecting
>the entire work.


Reply to: