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Re: Request for suggestions of DFSG-free documentation licences

Shriramana Sharma <samjnaa@gmail.com> writes:

> I remember reading that the GFDL is not DFSG-free (due to some clauses
> regarding invariant sections or something)

The Debian project is in the strange situation that a license which
has many freeness issues[0] has been voted explicitly free without
supporting reasoning -- similar to the act of legislating that the
value of pi is exactly 3, regardless of mathematics to the contrary.

In particular, the specific case of a work under GFDL without exercise
of any of the clauses specifying non-modifiable document sections has
been voted by general resolution[1] to meet the DFSG, despite all the
arguments to the contrary. The general resolution unfortunately gave
no guidance on how to interpret this outcome, and many voters were
likely tired of the protracted debates on the topic so perhaps saw it
as a way to avoid the discussion.

Note that most documentation from the GNU project *does* exercise
those particular clauses, and so is not covered by this general

The consensus (not unanimous, but consensus nonetheless) of
debian-legal is that the DFSG, regardless of which of its clauses are
exercised, is non-free for any software, including documentation.

> so I would like to know what is a DFSG-free license for
> documentation, since a project I am working on wants to license its
> documentation in a DFSG-free way.

Choose a single, free license to cover all the software: programs,
data, documentation, all of it. That is the simplest way to ensure
that all the software is free.

[0] http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml
[1] http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_001

 \         "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."  -- |
  `\                                                     Aldous Huxley |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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