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Re: GFDL vote... convince me

On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 11:26:24PM -0800, Don Armstrong wrote:
>... [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.]

I don't think that's limited to the GFDL.  I'm sure that a large amount
of code is placed under the GPL/LGPL/Artistic/MPL/etc./ad-nauseum
without the author necessarily understanding all the details of the
chosen license.

My favourite extreme case being:

  "Lol i just chucked that GPL thing on cos it looked neat."
    -- http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=326491#r12

Which probably serves to highlight that the licence should be not only
fool-proof, but idiot-proof.

Programmers are not generally lawyers, and want in most cases (if they
bother at all) to slap some boiler-plate on the code and get on with the

Having said that, I can understand the intent of the FSF's inclusion of
Invariant Sections and Transparent Copies (although the DRM thing just
seems like politics).

There have been issues with both the perlfaq and perlreftut licensing in
the Perl documentation.  In both cases, the copyright holders were kind
enough to relax their licenses when asked.

Surely the case of inappropriate "Invariant Sections" can be handled
similarly to the way that any problem license issues have been handled
by Debian in the past:  by politely pointing out to the author the error
of their ways...  This results either in the license being changed, or
the documentation being excluded from the distribution.

Think of it as evolution in action.


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