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

olive <olive.lin@versateladsl.be> writes:

> That is at least an elaborate argument. I personnaly think that Debian
> would do better to defend free software if there were in accordance to
> the FSF.

I think you're completely wrong here.  Monopolies are rarely good, and
monopolies on what "free software" means are no different.  I think it's
useful to the free software community to have both Debian and the FSF
staking out claims on what's free & what's not, and debating the issues.
I would certainly wish for more and more open dialogue between the two
groups, but you can't have everything.  Certainly, I think the way
things with the GPLv3 are being handled is a good sign.  In fact, I have
to wonder if Debian's and others' reaction (and ultimate refusal to
accept) the GFDL (and especially to the "comment period" that was used
for its release) played a role there.

On generous days, I'm even willing to admit that the OSD folks have a
role to play in the community.... ;)  Certainly those who advocate for
BSD-style licensing rather than copyleft are an important part of the
Free Software community.

> 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
> GFDL is not ideal and find curious that the FSF which have fighted the
> advertising clause of the original BSD license adopt a license where it
> demand even a little more.

The difference is that the FSF (or at least RMS) does not believe that
programs and documentation need the same freedoms.

As for the patch clause of the DFSG, that's already rather controversial
-- more than one contributor on d-l has suggested that it should be
removed.  I wasn't here at the time, but I've heard that the original
motivation for that clause was as a compromise to help get certain
software into Debian.  Unfortunately, that software ended up being
non-free for other reasons, so it didn't work.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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