[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GFDL GR, vote please!

On Sun, Feb 12, 2006 at 05:20:41PM -0700, Hubert Chan wrote:
> But the question is not whether or not I am allowed to protect 2.  The
> question is whether or not that document is free.

We can not answer that question.  We already saw that there are
different notions for "free".  Some people want to be allowed more in
order to acknowledge some work as free, but other people require
modifiability only as far as it is necessary for practical purposes.
Some people admire the existence of free works but consider the
existence of non-free works to be part of the freedom.  For other
people it is immoral to forbid the improvements and the widening of
the practical usefulness of the work; they use this as a criterium for
freeness.  For some people main/contrib/non-free are designators to
what extend we are allowed to modify the works.  For other people
main/contrib/non-free should mean
moral_works/free_works_promoting_immoral_works/immoral_works (of
cource currently they don't mean this -- I have packages in contrib).

> I consider footnotes to be part of the text.  If I write a text and
> include my own footnotes, and I release my text under a no-modification
> license, I would be extremely angry if anyone modified my footnotes.  To
> me, a footnote is just as much a part of the text as punctuation, or the
> words that I use.  And so, to me, adding footnotes is adding to the
> text.

Yes, of course the author's footnotes are part of the text and you
have the right to be angry if someone modified your footnotes.
However if I add my own footnotes to your text, your text will still
be preserved unaltered and this is what GFDL requires.

> >> The question is whether or not useful modification is being
> >> prevented.  My license prevents you from taking my text and modifying
> >> it to be more useful.  That makes it non-free.
> > I see.  I can answer that there are other ways to achieve the seeking
> > result but I must admit that if you don't give me explicit permission
> > to modify your section the result will not be the best possible.
> I would say that in some cases, the result may be completely useless for
> your purposes, depending on what you want to do.  Which to me means that
> it makes useful modifications impossible, which means non-free.

I am not allowed to "repair" your text but I can use your reasoning in
my own text.  I prefer the first of the following two choices:

> It seems to me that you have either two choices.  Either you distribute
> your work as "my original plus modifications" (but as I said above:
> >> It is completely useless to give someone else my original essay,
> >> plus your modifications --

If the situation you described was real my first duty would be to ask
you 1. why you placed your text in invariant section, 2. would you
allow some modifications of your text (authorized by you).  If you
answer to 2 "yes" then I will proceed with the modifications.
Otherwise: 3. I will ask you for your reasons to not allow
modifications in the text.  Knowing the answer of 3. I will be able to
give your invariant section proper framework inside the document.  For
example depending of your answer I can try to explain to the readers
the historical context of your text, your wishes, etc.

> it would just be too painful to read.

The users don't have to read (except for curiosity).

Anton Zinoviev

Reply to: