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Re: Results for Debian's Position on the GFDL

Debian Project Secretary wrote:

>The winners are:
>	 Option 2 "GFDL-licensed works without unmodifiable sections are free"
Well, first off, I'm happy to see Option 3 failed to even meet majority;
chaos is preserved for another day.[0]

However, Option 1 was the consensus of this list, and thus we've been
overridden[0]. I feel that we now need to figure out why the project as
a whole has rejected the draft position statement [2] and render our
future --- and possibly re-render our past --- interpretations of the
DFSG in accordance. It is unfortunate that no thorough, point-by-point
rebuttal of the position statement was given on -vote or -legal (to the
best of my knowledge; I'd love to be wrong).

I believe there are essentially two reconciliations we can have for each
problem listed in the position statement [2]: Either "that does not make
things non-free" or "that is not the intended reading of the license,
stop nit-picking so much."

So, without further ado, my attempt at this:

_1. The "DRM" Restriction._

"You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading
or further copying of the copies you make or distribute" has been
mis-read. I don't think there is any way the Project would consider "you
must make all your files a+r, etc." a free license. I propose that the
Project is telling us that something along the following is the true

    "You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the
    reading or further copying [by the intended recipient] of [all] the
    copies you make or distribute [to him]"

This re-wording seems to clear up the three problems identified in [2].

_2. Transparent and Opaque copies_

This must be another mis-reading. Just as when you put a CD-ROM inside
the box with a book you are "includ[ing] a machine-readable Transparent
copy", so are you when you put the transparent copy alongside the opaque
copy on an FTP server. (This even seems somewhat acceptable as an
interpretation, considering the FSF's stated views in the GPL FAQ)

3. Invariant Sections

Here, the Project agrees with us.

And then, [2] covers the more-detailed problems with the GFDL. I think
that makes a subject for another message...


   0. Foundation documents are best not amended via hand waving but
      rather via clear changes; I have no idea how we'd continue to vet
      licenses had the hand-waving passed.
   1. Not technically, but practically: -legal can't be overridden by GR
      since it can't actually make decisions.
   2. http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml

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