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Re: Anton's amendment

On Wednesday 01 February 2006 14:32, Anton Zinoviev wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:36:48AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> > "Wesley J. Landaker" <wjl@icecavern.net> writes:
> > > Sure, it says it must permit modifications, but it doesn't way
> > > that it must permit ALL modifications. The way it reads,
> > > literally, could be interpreted as it must permit ALL
> > > modifcations, or as it must permit at least two modifications (so
> > > that "modifications" is plural).
> >
> > So, would you regard a license which permitted the modification of
> > some features of a program, but not others, to be free?  I would not.
> >
> > This is why your interpretation sounds entirely ad-hoc.  If you
> > *really* think that the correct reading of this part of the DFSG is to
> > say that as long as two modifications are permitted, it does not
> > matter what restrictions are on the rest of a program, then I think
> > you are proffering something so implausible it need not be considered.
> Wesley wrote "The way it reads, literally, could be interpretted".
> This doesn't mean he thinks this is the correct reading of DFSG.

Precisely; the point of my whole e-mail was that you can never solve issues 
about how to interpret the DFSG by legalistic semantic nitpicking on how 
the sentences are written. 

The better way is to use common sense. Under argument is what is the "common 
sense" application of the DFSG against the GFDL. Some people are taking it 
to an "extreme", you might say, in both directions. 

I think this is okay, I don't think either interpretation is out of the 
realm of a good interpretation, but I don't think either side should be 
crippled in this vote by an a priori assumption that one or the other 
interpretation is "wrong" by some legalistic interpration of the DFSG.

> It is not necessary to apply different conditions for programs and
> documentations in order to say that GFDL is free.  I insist that with
> proper reading the _current_ version of DFSG is compatible with GFDL.

If it wasn't down to a GR mandating that the GFDL has to be either free or 
non-free, my "common sense" tells me that the GFDL could be free or 
non-free, depending on how it's applied to a program. 

For instance, in the absense of a mandate or GR, if I was going to package 
GFDL'd program ABC and it was going crazy with 500-page invariant sections, 
for 2 pages (or almost any amount) of real text, I'd almost certainly not 
upload it, personaly feeling that it would be too annoying, even if it 
might technically meet the DFSG--because it wouldn't--in that case--meet 
the spirit of it.

On the other hand, if I were packaging GFDL'd program XYZ and it has an 
invarient section that--in total--said "Dedicated to Catherine", I would 
probably consider it was just fine.

But, since this is now a GR, if it passes one way or the other no developer 
will be really be able to ever use their own common sense to determine if 
the GFDL is free in any case. That's okay, I supose, but I don't think we 
can or should assume before the vote which decision is a "valid" 
interpreation and make the other side get a 3:1 majority.

For the record, I'd be arguing to make this fair regardless of what "side" 
was the popular interpration.

Wesley J. Landaker <wjl@icecavern.net> <xmpp:wjl@icecavern.net>
OpenPGP FP: 4135 2A3B 4726 ACC5 9094  0097 F0A9 8A4C 4CD6 E3D2

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