Re: GFDL GR, vote please!
On Fri, Feb 10, 2006 at 03:20:36PM -0700, Hubert Chan wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 12:43:30 +0200, Anton Zinoviev <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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
> 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...
The invariant sections should be used only in order to express what
someone thinks or saw or what someone belives. It is not useful to
change such texts. If my opinion is not the same as yours I am
allowed to express my opinion in additional invariant section. Or if
I think your opinion is misleading the readers I can object your
opinion in footnotes.
> 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?
You didn't have to include your essay in an invariant section. You
however used invariant section so I suppose that for you the arguments
in your essay are not the most valuable about it. The most varluable
thing about the essay for you must be that the essay reflects truly
the way you think. Ofcourse I may assume that the terible writing
style in your essay is not voluntary so I can suggest to you my help.
However if you deny I have no moral right to change one so individual
> 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.
Any fixed piece of code can be prohibitive for some usefull
modifications - it is not difficult to find examples. Notice that
GFDL doesn't restrict the changes in the sources in any way - in the
transparent (i.e. source) copies you can do with the invariant
sections whatever you want provided in all opaque (i.e. binary) copies
their text is included unmodified.
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