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Re: GFDL GR, vote please!

On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 15:20:36 -0700, Hubert Chan <hubert@uhoreg.ca> said:

> 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...

Replying to myself...  (They say that talking to yourself is the first
sign of insanity.)

Sorry for completely missing the obvious: invariant sections prohibit
distribution of the invariant section itself as a separate document.

Suppose that I write my essay about why I like free software, and make
it an invariant section in my documentation on how to use echo(1).
Somebody likes my essay (despite my tangent about my pet platypus), and
wants to distribute it to convince his friends to use free software.
The GFDL would actually prevent that person from extracting my essay and
distributing it as a document to his friends, even if he distributes my
essay verbatim.  (Huh?  The GFDL may hinder the promotion of free
software?  What a strange world we live in.)

I'm to lazy to write go through the complete reasoning again right now,
but it's essentially the same as what I wrote in a previous message[1],
(which nobody seems to have objected to yet (which I can only assume to
mean that either I am correct, or that my reasoning is too stupid to
warrant a response)).

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote/2006/02/msg00312.html

It should be fairly clear how the above reasoning applies to the
situation mentioned in this message, but if needed, I might feel
inclined to explain it again in detail tomorrow.

But it seems to me that, even worse than the GFDL preventing useful
modification of invariant sections, it also prevents useful distribution
of invariant sections.

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