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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Front page to wiki now modifiable again

From: Aaron Bentley
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Front page to wiki now modifiable again
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 16:06:03 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5 (X11/20040309)

Mikhael Goikhman wrote:
On 22 Mar 2004 14:00:33 -0500, Aaron Bentley wrote:
However, the FSF also released the Free Documentation License, which has caused some difficulty because GFDLed documents aren't necessarily Free enough for Debian.

Is not FDL intended more for physical books and other tangible property,
than for intangible software documentation like man pages or README's?

The FDL is designed for "manuals". Not "printed manuals", but just "manuals". Of course, "man page" is short for "manual page".

My understanding is that FSF always stated clearly, GPL is more than fine
for everything to which the "source" meaning may be applied.

No, that's not so, according to the free-doc link. It specifically says that source availability is the raison d'etre of the FDL.

I fail to understand why people use FDL as an example against GPL v2+.

The point is that the FSF isn't consistent on "Free". They think "some kinds of limits on the method of modification pose no problem". That's not what others think, so GFDLed docs are winding up in [non-free] in Debian.

If the FSF isn't consistent on Free, there's room for doubt that the new GPL will be as Free as the old.

This is bogus. GNU FDL is designed for adoption by commercial publishers.

The link says GNU documentation contains invariant sections. Is the FSF a "commercial publisher" then?

Surely, GPL and FDL are two different licenses, use the most appropriate
for you. If you don't write and sell books, GPL v2+ is more appropriate.

I don't see anything in the article saying that the GPL is more appropriate for some kinds of manuals. There's no suggestion made that the GPL could be applied to manuals. If that was their intent, you'd hope they'd mention it.


Aaron Bentley
Director of Technology
Panometrics, Inc.

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