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Re: Results for Debian's Position on the GFDL

On 17 Mar 2006 14:29:18 -0500, Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> Raul Miller writes:
> > On 15 Mar 2006 00:11:11 -0500, Michael Poole <mdpoole@troilus.org> wrote:
> > > > File permissions have little or nothing to do with enforcing copyright.
> > > >
> > > > File permissions are an all or nothing mechanism.  You either have
> > > > given a person a copy of the copyrighted material, or you have not.
> > >
> > > Things like the execute bit, not to mention ACLs like those supported
> > > in AFS, NTFS, and other systems, make this claim transparently false.
> >
> > So don't do that.
> So is it acceptable for the GFDL to prohibit me from performing these
> two operations:
>   cp some-gfdl-licensed-document.txt ~/local-copy.txt
>   chmod 0700 ~/local-copy.txt

The GFDL does not prohibit you from performing those two actions.

The GFDL also does not prohibit you from turning off the power
on your computer, even after you've done the above two steps.

> ?  If you accept that file permissions are technical measures, the
> second step violates this provision of the GFDL: "You may not use
> technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further
> copying of the copies you make or distribute."  I can even see an
> argument that is a computer owner's responsibility to make every
> GFDL-licensed package file on that computer world-readable, since the
> owner (or his agent) copied the document into /usr/share/doc.

I do not accept that file permissions are technical measures in the
sense meant by the GFDL.

They could be turned into technical measures in the appropriate
context, but they're not technical measures in and of themselves.

> It would also be a violation of the GFDL for the computer's owner to
> restrict any user to a chroot environment, which is a rather clear
> violation of DFSG#9.

No, it would not.

It WOULD be a violation if the owner of the computer restricted the
user to a chroot environment AND THEN used that chroot environment
to deliver a GFDL'd document to the user in some way that prevented
the user from copying it -- for example, allowing the user to only see
the document displayed as a bitmap, and through chroot never allowing
the user access to transparent copies.

But even there, unless the computer owner has some kind of monopoly
privilege over copies of that document, it isn't very likely that this will
turn into a serious issue.


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