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

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Front page to wiki now modifiable again
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 16:58:52 -0800 (PST)

    > From: Andrew Suffield <address@hidden>

    > > The FSF has never tried to define "free" in some general sense.  They
    > > (and RMS) are pretty narrowly focused.  They have a very nuanced
    > > assesment of the meaning of "free" and the cliched account of the
    > > "Debian position" is that Debian has a very blunt and somewhat idiotic
    > > conception.

    > It's quite simple, really. RMS has stated that (a) the GFDL is
    > not a "free software" license, and (b) it is not meant to be,
    > but he has ignored questions as to what "free" means in its
    > name, or what constitutes a "free documentation" license 

He has not ignored such questions.

for example.  I've seen numerous writings by RMS on the topic over the
years and knew at once that you are being unfair in your summary of
his position.

A couple of months ago I went and reviewed a few years of the Debian
legal mailing list discussions with and at RMS on this topic.   Your
reply here reminds me of those.   To call the exchange a "discussion"
is being charitable to Debian folks who advocated for (again, a
charitable description) a change to documentation licensing.

    > (while the FSF's definition of "free software" is quite clear
    > and agreeable).

More interesting than the definition, I think, is the spirit of its
aim.  That spirit is consistent with GFDL.   That spirit is why v2+ is
a sane choice.

    > We don't know what he's thinking, because he refuses to talk
    > about it. 

He does not.   He refused at one point to suffer further abuse on the
debian legal list.   That's not the same thing.

    > But we're pretty sure that we're only interested in
    > "free software", and not this other "free" stuff, and we can
    > conclude that when he says "free" he doesn't always mean "free
    > software". So now we have to be careful.

Well, what is _your_ definition of "free", since you think it is
applicable as a touchstone which must be used to test any FSF


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