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Re: Amendment to GR on GFDL, and the changes to the Social Contract

On Thu, Feb 09, 2006 at 06:37:57PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:

> > The vote is not a means of rescinding the DFSG or SC, nor even of
> > contradicting them. It is the *only* means we have of determining
> > whether something is in compliance with them. If a majority say that
> > that is the case, then for our purposes, it is so.
> No.  This is incorrect.  The developers surely have the right to
> declare what the DFSG means; I have never challenged that.

So what is incorrect?

> However, this does not specify by what majority they must act.  The
> developers have the right to rescind the DFSG or close down the
> Project if they want, but this does not mean that a mere majority is
> sufficient to take those steps.

Unless the developers wish to supercede the DFSG or the SC then a
simple majority is required. Nothing in any of the resolutions to be
passed claims to supercede the DFSG or SC in any way, ergo they don't.

If one of the amended resolutions were to pass, by a simple majority,
without claiming to supercede either the DFSG or the SC, then nothing
within it could be taken as doing so. As with any other resolution, if
a situation later arose in which the requirements of the resolution
were seen to conflict with the requirements of the DFSG or SC, then
the DFSG/SC would take precedence. This should be based on a matter of
fact though, not of opinion. As should the majority required in this

To be quite clear about this, I will personally almost certainly vote
for AJ's unamended resolution.

The first amended version, as I pointed out before, contains at least
one error which renders it useless. Were it to pass in its current
state, it would require another GR to correct/clarify its meaning. I
believe that anyone who favours the intended meaning of this amendment
should either make damn sure that it is corrected before the vote, or
vote for "further discussion" to allow a corrected version to be put
forward. I might be tempted to vote for this amended version were it
not for that problem. However, the presence of this problem indicates
to me that the amendment as a whole is unlikely to be as well thought
out as such a resolution demands.

The second amended version, to me, is stretching the bounds of
credulity somewhat.

It also appears to endorse Stallman's quote:

 The whole point of those works is that they tell you what somebody
 thinks or what somebody saw or what somebody believes. To modify them
 is to misrepresent the authors; so modifying these works is not a
 socially useful activity. And so verbatim copying is the only thing
 that people really need to be allowed to do.

Which is, to me, obviously and blatantly factually incorrect in
several different ways.

So, I'm not trying to persuade anyone of the wrongness of Manoj's
claim for a supermajority requirement because I think it will help me
get my way -- I just happen to feel very strongly that it is an abuse
(although I don't doubt a well-intentioned one) of the position which
he holds.



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