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

On Mon, 06 Feb 2006, olive wrote:
> Don Armstrong wrote:
> >On Sat, 04 Feb 2006, olive wrote:
> >>There is no rule which say that "every bits of a file can be
> >>modified"; but there are law which says that you must be able to
> >>use your freedom.
> >
> >I'm not sure what else you can reasonably interpret DFSG 3 as meaning.
> I understand this rule as "can we pratically make derived work or
> not".

Like what? We've already given examples where we cannot "pratically
make [some] derived work[s]" because we are unable to modify or remove
certain parts of the documentation.

> To interpret it as "every bit of a file can be modified" is in my
> opinion not the same and lead to clearly absurd situations.

Your interpretation would allow authors to identify any part of the
work that they wished as invariant, and then would claim that it is
Free Software.

The very fact that you cannot easily construct a bright line test to
even begin to determine which works with such unmodifiable parts are
free and which are not should give you pause before continuing to
advocate your position.

> >>Debian has already accepted resctriction similar to the GFDL
> >>(acknoledgement of the BSD license etc,...); the invariant
> >>sections are in nature not more (these are acknoledgement for the
> >>GNU project; and yes it a bit longer).
> >
> >Save for the fact that they're not invariant, or you don't actually
> >have to include those sections. [And yes, many of us do have
> >problems with GPL 2c as well.]
> The advertising clause of the original BSD license must be included
> unmodified. This is a small invariant section; which shows that the
> DFSG3 must not be interpreted as "every bit of a file can be
> included unmodified"

It only must be included in an advertisement advertising features of
the program which are included; thus, "you don't actually have to
include those sections." [My own personal opinion is that this clause
is not one that should be found in Free Software, even though it meets
the DFSG, but that's my opinion outside of what the DFSG says.]

> >>I think of a license of a file in x.org which prohibit to export it
> >>to Cuba.
> >If this were actually stated in the license, it would be non free.
> >
> >As others have explained in this thread, that's a legal export
> >requirement imposed on people by the US government which has been
> >conflated with the licence by mere proximity instead of intent.
> I am not sure I understand. This file is very unclear. Living in the
> EU (Belgium); there is no law which prohibits to export good to
> Cuba. So please answer clearly to the question: have I the right to
> export it to Cuba or not?

If our understanding of the clarification made by the copyright holder
is correct, yes.

> And if the answer is "no" what would I break by doing so (If I break
> copyright law; then the license is not free; being outside of the
> U.S. juridiction, I think there is no other law I can break).

If this were the case, the license would be non-free. There's no
argument about that. (Or at the very least, I'm not arguing about

Don Armstrong

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing
continued to happen.
 -- Douglas Adams

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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