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Re: GFDL vote... convince me

On Fri, 10 Mar 2006, Ivan Kohler wrote:
> I can't really decide between the original GR and Amendment A.
> Amendment B is obviously incoherent, but this strikes a chord:
>   Consequently when judging whether some license is free or not, one has 
>   to take into account what kind of restrictions are imposed and how 
>   these restrictions fit to the Social Contract of Debian: 
>   4. Our priorities are our users and free software 
>   We will be guided by the needs of our users and the free software
>   community. We will place their interests first in our priorities.
>   Currently GFDL is a license acknowledged as free by the great mass
>   of the members of the free software community and as a result it
>   is used for the documentation of great part of the currently
>   available free programs.

This is unfortunatly not really the case. Very few of the people who
I've talked to are willing to accept invariant sections of the type
propsed by the GFDL; most of the few who do are only interested in
allowing the GNU Manifesto to be distributed. [Few of the people who
have applied the GFDL to their work have even done so with a full
knowledge of what the licence entails... take for example the
surprising number of manuals with every section marked as invariant.]

The other aspects of the GFDL which are problematic (DRM, transparent
copies) for the DFSG were not intended to be problematic; they are
simply bugs in the licence itself which make the license's incompliant
with the DFSG. These will likely be dealt with by the next draft of
the GFDL when it is finally announced.

>   If Debian decided that GFDL is not free, this would mean that
>   Debian attempted to impose on the free software community
>   alternative meaning of free software, effectively violating its
>   Social Contract with the free software community.
> Which makes me lean toward voting 4123 or 4213 (further discussion
> ranked #1) instead of 1243 or 2143... thinking we really need to
> work this out with the FSF and the community towards a better GFDL
> v2, not issue divisive proclimations.

There has actually been considerable effort put in to work with the
FSF regarding the GFDL.[1] They are currently aware of the issues
surrounding the license, and Eben publicly anounced at the GPLv3
announcement at MIT that they will be making a draft of the GFDL
available some time during the GPLv3 process.

Whatever the outcome of this GR, that work will continue.

[Given my voluminous posts about the GFDL, it should be obvious how
I've voted.]

Don Armstrong

1: Mako and myself have met with Eben on multiple occasions to make
sure that the issues that Debian has with the GFDL were coherently
CNN/Reuters: News reports have filtered out early this morning that US
forces have swooped on an Iraqi Primary School and detained 6th Grade 
teacher Mohammed Al-Hazar. Sources indicate that, when arrested,
Al-Hazar was in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square and
a calculator. US President George W Bush argued that this was clear
and overwhelming evidence that Iraq indeed possessed weapons of maths 

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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