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

On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 05:24:26AM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
Glenn> On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 01:49:59PM +0400, olive wrote:
Glenn> > You seem to say that if a given license has conditions that would best 
Glenn> > be removed to benefit free software then the license is by itself 
Glenn> > non-free. But Debian does not choose the license of a given software; it 
Glenn> > just choose if will include the software in main or not. The question 
Glenn> > becomes if it would benefit free software if the given software is 
Glenn> > included. With this point of view including GFDL manuals in Debian would 
Glenn> > benefit free software since rejecting it would make a lot of free 
Glenn> > software unusable.  The GNU project have accepted non ideal free 
Glenn> > software license on the same basis (for example the TeX license).
Glenn> The choice of whether to include a work is based on whether its license
Glenn> is free.  The definition of "free" is based, ultimately, on whether it
Glenn> benefits free software or not. 

Well, in my opinion, you're stretching it. Non-copylefted licenses
don't benefit free software as much as copylefted ones, yet they are
still as free as free licenses get. 

Glenn>  You're trying to bypass the process that
Glenn> determines that, by handwaving wildly and saying "but anyway, who cares,
Glenn> it would benefit free software to make an exception for this thing and
Glenn> that thing".  Sorry, but you're just not presenting any arguments that
Glenn> I think are worth spending further time debating.  If anyone else thinks
Glenn> this has substance worth discussion, they're free to jump in,
Glenn> of course.

Actually, you are kind of handwaving too, since you eluded the
copylefted/non-copylefted example before. I'm curious as to how you
deal with that.

Again, I'm not saying this partcularly aboutthe GFDL case, but more as
a general statement against the idea that freeness is only achieved
by being the most helpful for free software possible. I believe the
threshold of freeness is lower than that. Again, "free" is not (and
should not) be synonymous with "perfect".

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