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Re: GFDL v2 draft 1 analysis [long]



On Mon, 11 Dec 2006 10:28:13 +0000 (GMT) MJ Ray wrote:

> Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> wrote:
> > On Fri,  8 Dec 2006 22:47:32 +0000 (GMT) MJ Ray wrote:
> > > I don't think it matters.  Pseudonymous publication seems
> > > possible, but we must watch out for developments on this
> > > uncertainty.
> > [...] 
> > Hence, I'm not so sure that anonymous publication is possible.
> 
> I don't think it is.  I wrote that pseudonymous publication seems
> possible.  Please stop arguing about anonymous publication: it isn't.

OK, I was just trying to clarify what could be said about both different
forms of publication (anonymous and pseudonymous).
I think that both those forms should be allowed.

> 
> > As for pseudonymous publication (which is something different, let's
> > remember), I don't know whether a `Published by BlackStar' statement
> > satifies the clause... maybe, or maybe not... more probably not...
> 
> I think it does, but the question is whether it is necessary to
> identify the contributor among the contributors, or among the
> population.  As I wrote, we must watch out for developments on this
> uncertainty.

I think I see what you mean: 'BlackStar' could be used to distinguish
that contributor from Carl Contributingguy and from 'RedBlood'.  Even if
no one knows which is the real identity behind 'BlackStar', nor the one
behind 'RedBlood'.

On the other hand, there's no warranty that each pseudonymous
contributor uses one pseudonym only: 'BlackStar' and 'RedBlood' could be
the same real person.
Hence, I don't know how much a pseudonym can help to "identify" a
contributor among other contributors...

> 
> > Does `copyleft' mean that modified versions must stay under the same
> > license?
> > Or does it mean that no additional restrictions may be placed on
> > modified versions?
> 
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html says:
[...]
>   To copyleft a program, we first state that it is copyrighted; then
>   we add distribution terms, which are a legal instrument that gives
>   everyone the rights to use, modify, and redistribute the program's
>   code or any program derived from it but only if the distribution
>   terms are unchanged.
> 
> Like many people, I also thought it was about `requiring all modified
> and extended versions of the program to be free software as well' but
> it's not.  It was just used to do that when FSF felt like it.
> 
> Sorry to shatter illusions.  FDL is a shameful example of a copyleft
> used to stop things being always free software, but it is a copyleft
> nonetheless.

I see and it makes sense.

But what puzzles me is that the same essay you quoted explicitly
list the GNU LGPL as a copyleft license:

| Copyleft is a general concept; there are many ways to fill in the
| details. In the GNU Project, the specific distribution terms that we
| use are contained in the GNU General Public License, the GNU Lesser
| General Public License and the GNU Free Documentation License.

Since the LGPL includes an explicit conversion-to-GPL clause, it does
*not* require that "the distribution terms" of "the program's
code or any program derived from it" "are unchanged".
It does not even require that no additional restrictions are placed,
since, as already pointed out by Andrew Donnellan, the GPL is *more*
restrictive than the LGPL.

So, how come the LGPL is considered a copyleft license?
Or even the GFDLv2draft1, for that matter: it includes one or
two relicensing clause(s)...

Am I completely off-track or is the FSF more and more inconsistent?



BTW, going back to the original issue: can you suggest a better category
name than "Kills copyleft"?


-- 
But it is also tradition that times *must* and always
do change, my friend.   -- from _Coming to America_
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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