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Re: Editorial changes to the Social Contract

2006/2/11, Jérôme Marant <jmarant@free.fr>:
> There isn't anything to do with politess. If I hurted you, them please
> accept my apologies. But I'm frank enough to express my view as I
> feel them. As a non-native English speaker, the vocabulary might
> not always be appropriate.

Hmm, you should probably know that in some places the word "extremist"
has becomes a dirty word like "terrorist". I know it's not what you
mean, but the evolution of language is not always something we can

> >         If you do not see how starting with a GNU Manifesto and
> >  modifying it to be Manoj's manifesto is a freedom that can be
> >  coveted, I am afraid I do not see how you understand the concept of
> >  freedom of software actually works.
> So, in real life, you shall be free to get a copy of some random novel,
> change few life, and sell it as Manoj novel?

If the original is written under a "free" license, sure. If the author
doesn't want that then they shouldn't use such a license. The DFSG
does allow you the possibility of requiring changed works to have a
different title and you can't pass off their work as yours. But you
can use the text as a basis for your work.

> Either I do consider it as software, and in that case you are right.
> Or I don't because the hardware is just a container and the work could
> have an existance out of a computer. A program has no meaning out of
> a computer. The GNU Manifesto does.

Huh? A program certainly has meaning without a computer. That's why
you can print it out and read it. Many algorithms can be far better
explained by presenting a peice of code than by trying to describe it
in words.

> >         Being able to create new, derivative essays tailored to my
> >  needs and views but based on works by other people is a right that
> >  being able to modify software gives me.
> Even by taking entire paragraph with the exact wording?  Please note
> I don't consider essays and program documentation on the same ground.

Why not? Although you may not see the point of being able to produce
derived works of essays, I really don't see the point of forbidding
it. Words change their meaning over time and at some point the essay
won't say what it originally meant. Why shouldn't people be able to
touch up the language to match modern forms? For example, what you
read as written by Shakespeare now often doesn't match what he wrote

Derived works just take the idea further, in that you change the
meaning also. You  just can't pass it off as entirely your own.

The question is, does Debian want to distribute stuff that it can't
update if the need arises? Isn't that what freedom is all about?
Martijn van Oosterhout <kleptog@gmail.com> http://svana.org/kleptog/

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