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Re: GFDL and cover texts

On 06/08/07, Ben Finney <bignose+hates-spam@benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> "Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso" <jordigh@gmail.com> writes:
> > The position statement and the vote all conflate invariant sections
> > with cover texts and dedications as if exactly the same arguments
> > against invariant sections applied to a cover text like "a gnu
> > manual".
> That's because the same arguments do apply. All works in Debian must
> meet the DFSG; a work licensed such that any of it is unmodifiable
> fails to meet DFSG §3.

Yeah, and the GPL fails to meet DFSG §8 because it discriminates
against people who can only make business with the software by hiding
its source, like any hardcore BSD advocate will tell you.

My point here is that it's a matter of interpretation and degree; the
position statement and the outcome of the vote speak in absolutes, as
much as a single unmodifiable byte, and you're out, which is highly
impractical; I can't think of any situation where the words "a GNU
manual" could actually hinder anyone's use, modification or
distribution of, well, a GNU manual. I disagree that the GFDL violates
DFSG §3 because everything that's important about a GFDLed text is
modifiable. Like I've said before, even OpenBSD thinks GFDL texts are
free enough to distribute; Debian still looks like a wacko here, not
to mention that it's embarrassing to explain to Debian outsiders why
Debian thinks a GNU free license isn't free at all.

Source tarballs under any license have an unmodifiable section in
their license terms, and we tolerate that, but the GFDL is seemingly
different because it forces GNU philosophy down our throats, right? Or
in the case of cover texts, it very evilly reminds us that GNU had
something to do with the writing of the manual, how dare they!

- Jordi G. H.

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