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Re: GFDL GR, vote please!

On Fri, Feb 10, 2006 at 01:58:28PM +0200, Anton Zinoviev wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 10, 2006 at 03:06:03AM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:

> > > > The interpretation being proposed seems to be "the DFSG allows certain
> > > > restrictions on modifications, including the GPL's interactivity
> > > > notification stuff and the GFDL's unmodifiable sections, with others
> > > > potentially to be determined later". That seems reasonably easy to apply:
> > > > deal with the existing ones as is, and assume there'll be another vote
> > > > in future should any more come up.

> > > 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.

> > > However this interpretation is not part of my proposal.  My proposal
> > > invalidates some possible interpretations of DFSG but it doesn't state
> > > which interpretation is the correct one.

> > Which is for me a big problem, given that mine is one of those
> > interpretations that's invalidated -- and, according to my reading, so is
> > *yours*, since being unable to remove multiple pages of essays when
> > borrowing a few paragraphs of text is a "substantive limit". 

> I think the following is an useful test.  If the license forbids some
> modification that is necessary in order to adapt the document to some
> need, then the document is non-free.  Otherwise, that is if the
> license does not forbid any necessary modification, the document may
> be free.

Yes, I've read all your mails on the subject.  I don't find them persuasive.
People *have* identified ways in which the GFDL fails to meet their needs
when adapting documentation, and the response has been to rationalize why
these needs are not significant.  Frankly, the only standards I see by which
the GFDL can meet the DFSG are "the rules are different for documentation
than programs", which is decisively not what the Foundation Documents
currently say; or "it's free because it's from the FSF", which isn't so much
a principle as it is a game of follow-the-leader.

Anyway my post wasn't meant to be taken as a request to sell me on your
point of view; I was really hoping it would prompt you to clarify your
proposal to spell out what standards we should be using for judging
DFSG-compliance, instead of just legislating a conclusion that I (and plenty
of others) disagree with.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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