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Re: GFDL GR, vote please!



On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 12:43:30 +0200, Anton Zinoviev <anton@lml.bas.bg> said:

> The interpretation that I hold is the following:

>        The license must give us permissions to modify the work in
>   order to adapt it to various needs or to improve it, with no
>   substantive limits on the nature of these changes, but there can be
>   superficial requirements on how they are packaged.

I'm a bit surprised nobody has brought this up yet (but maybe I'm just
crazy): invariant sections prevent improvements to the invariant
sections.

Leaving aside the (seemingly) highly charged issue of the Emacs manual
and the GNU Manifesto, let's go into the fantasy world.  Let's say that
I write some software, and some documentation for it.  Suppose that I
license the documentation under the GFDL, and I include an essay about
why I like free software as an invariant section.  Suppose that I make
some good, new, convincing arguments (that's where the fantasy comes
in), but my writing style is a bit off at times (that part would be
reality).  And then there's that part where I go off on a tangent about
my pet platypus...

Since the essay is an invariant section, it prevents anyone from taking
my essay, keeping the good bits, fixing my terrible writing style (and
correcting my tpyos), and turning it into something that you could put
on a manager's desk and convince them of the value of using and
developing free software.  Is that not a useful modification?


P.S. For those who say that we don't have software licenses that include
non-modifiable bits because they prevent useful modifications, is the
following a free software license?

/* Permission is granted for distribution of verbatim or modified copies
of this program in source or binary forms under the condition that
contents of the variable "invariant" are not deleted or modified, and
that you do not prevent the compiler from including its contents from
the resulting binary.
*/

#include <stdio.h>

char *invariant = "My pet aardvark likes free software because... {insert essay here}";

int main (void)
{
  printf ("This program does something useful.\n");
  return 0;
}

-- 
Hubert Chan <hubert@uhoreg.ca> - http://www.uhoreg.ca/
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