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Re: First call for votes for the GFDL position statement



[On 2/27/06, Anton Zinoviev <zinoviev@debian.org> wrote:
> Since the way these choices are proposed to you is misleading, I have
> to sent this specifying message to you all.

Without passing judgement, I'll note that a statement like this demands
well stated proof.

[...eliding background material...]

> When you vote, please understand, that the whole point of my proposal
> is that GFDL is compatible with the current text of DFSG.  That is -
> with proper reading of DFSG, GFDL is compatible with our current
> guidelines.

This seems a formal statement of the issue which needs to be proven.

> The third rule of DFSG says: "The license must allow modifications and
> derived works".  At first sight it seams that "must allow
> modifications" means that the license must allow us to make arbitrary
> modifications.  As a matter of fact this interpretation is impossible
> because according to it even GPL would be a non-free license (please
> refer to my proposal for an explanation).

This looks like an argument that the GFDL does not conflict with
section 3 of the DFSG.

Without passing judgement, I'll note that this does not address
the other sections of the DFSG.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's my opinion:

First off, I've left out a lot of Anton Zinoviev's post.  Frankly, I think a
lot of it (including what I see as smear attacks on Manoj Srivastava)
is irrelevant.

I see a conflict between what Anton has said here and the obvious meaning
of the DFSG -- not section 3 taken alone, but taking into account section
4 as well.

And since this section 4 convlict has been raised, repeatedly, I think that
if anyone was serious about addressing it there would be a page describing
the issue -- in concise overview, and in detail -- and I think people would be
posting links to that page.

I think I would be in favor of a well thought out proposal for improving
the DFSG -- one that starts with the goals and issues it attempts to
address and works from there.  (As I remember it, that's how the DFSG
was originally written -- as I remember it, Debian was having problems with
software that potentially couldn't be ported and there were also concerns
about the need for security fixes and other sorts of maintenance.)

But I don't think that we gain anything by trying to pretend the DFSG says
anything other than what it says.

I don't think that GRs would be useful if we had to change the truth
to properly understand them.

--
Raul



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