Re: (end of) Development and documentation in Debian
> On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 06:34:24PM +0300, Andrei Popescu wrote:
> > Tyler Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > > This has been getting increasingly aggravating for me, as I find more
> > > and more of the documentation is either stowed out of sight in
> > > non-free, or has actually been put in some sort of package purgatory
> > > while someone decides what to do with it (ie. the elisp docs, which are
> > > currently not in etch, although I did find them in unstable).
> > This has probably nothing to do with license.
> > > I do understand the motivation behind the DFSG, but should we be
> > > considering everything that is stored in digital format to be software?
> > > I believe free software, by Debian or FSF definition, is a good and
> > > necessary thing. However, I don't have a problem with the author of a
> > > document file requiring the preservation of invariant sections. It's
> > > not clear to me how this is an infringment on my rights as a user. Do
> > > we need to hold documentation to the same standards that we use for
> > > programs?
> > Imagine someone writing a piece of documentation for a software, but
> > after some time stops keeping it up-to-date. Even if someone else wants
> > to take over and update it, it might be impossible to do so because of
> > the license. So instead of contributing the new writer just gives up,
> > because it would mean to rewrite everything. This way the community
> > looses twice.
> In international copyright law, there are rights belonging to the author
> that he cannot sign away. These include the right to be considered the
> author. This means that if the document mentions him as author (perhaps
> on a title page) it is illegal to change that to, say, a different name.
> Thus there are restricions on the changes that can be made to a document,
> even if he chooses to allow it. Should we put every document that is
> signed by its author in the nonfree category for this reason? In
> theory, this would apply to code, too.
Doesn't this make the invariant section for copyright notice almost
> Perhaps we need to adjust policy about the meaning of freeness
> when it comes to documentation. There may be appropriate
> restrictions to allow in documantation, and others to forbid.
> Perhaps a new license is appropriate as a model for future authors,
> perhaps not. Perhaps new category of repositoris between free and
> nonfree ...
> Merely considering reams of documentation to be nonfree is not the
> long-term solution. We need something positive as well.
This thread made me curious so I browsed the archives a bit. It seems
documentation licenses have been discussed for several *years* on
debian-legal. One example thread starts here:
Apparently GFDL has more issues then just the invariant sections.
Whether you approve or not is a completely different issue.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.