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Re: GR proposal: GFDL with no Invariant Sections is free

On Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 12:24:04PM +0400, olive wrote:
> >If this causes problems, you can always elect to not mention the use of
> >the software in advertising.  That's annoying, but accepted.  There's no
> >such escape with front- and back-cover texts.
> >
> >It's also not at all obvious to me how accepting acknowledgements in
> >advertising implies that this consession should be extended to everything
> >else.  Covers on a book?  What next; is requiring that software pop up a
> >dialog every fifteen minutes to say my name free?  It's just this sort
> >of wedging, saying "we allow this, so we should allow this, too--and wait,
> >now we should allow this other thing too, it's just a little more!", that
> >will destroy Debian as a free system.  (And cover texts would not be a
> >small concession at all, but a very big one.)
> That is at least an elaborate argument. 

That's not elaborate, it's straightforward and obvious.  (The argument
was three sentences; the rest was simply exasperation at people's constant
attempts to widen the scope of restrictions Debian will accept.)

> I personnaly think that Debian would do better to defend free software
> if there were in accordance to the FSF.

Debian has made it clear that documentation must follow the DFSG,
requiring the same standards of freedom as other software (GR2004-003).

The FSF has made it clear that it does not believe documentation does
not need the same freedoms as software, and has even agreed that the
GFDL is not a Free Software license.

This is a concluded debate: Debian and the FSF are in disagreement regarding
standards of freedom for documentation.  I'm glad that Debian stuck to
its standards, and didn't allow them to plummet merely to follow the FSF's
standards into the grave.  It is not in Free Software's interests to be
"in accordance to the FSF" without thought, and it is meaningless for
Debian to have any standards at all if the FSF has veto power.

> Having DFSG-free and FSF-free software which are not the same 
> just confuse the user and make the distinction between free / non-free 
> less pertinent (a software won't be "non-free" anymore, it just will be 
> non-XXX-free, where XXX is a small group of person). I still think that 

If that's what you believe, propose a GR to abolish the DFSG.

> demand even a little more. But I still think that Debian does more harm 
> to the free software by purely rejecting the license. Debian have 
> accepted as DFSG-free licenses which are, in my opinion, much more 
> inconvenient that GFDL: I thing of the patch close of the DFSG4; 

I hope you're not saying "Debian allows patch clauses, so it should allow
other things too".  It's one of the worst imaginable examples of what I
just said: taking (in my opinion) the worst consession the DFSG has made,
and using it as a wedge to try to get even more onerous restrictions
allowed.  (That means that not only are we suffering for the consession
made, we're suffering people using it to try to push even further.)

Glenn Maynard

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