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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] GFDL with Invariant Sections or other unmodifi

From: Adam Bolte
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] GFDL with Invariant Sections or other unmodifiable parts. Was: Final Thesis: H-node
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 02:39:52 +1000
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On 20/05/13 02:04, Michael Dorrington wrote:
> On 19/05/13 16:50, wrote:
>> On 20/05/13 01:08, Michał 'rysiek' Woźniak wrote:
>>> Dnia niedziela, 19 maja 2013 o 15:39:57 Michael Dorrington napisał(a):
>>>> On 19/05/13 14:20, Thomas Harding wrote:
>>>>> Le 19/05/2013 14:52, Michael Dorrington a écrit :
> [...]
>>> Ask and ye shall receive:
>> The part above that got cut out in the [...] was when Michael said:
>> "I posted in December 2012 and January 2013 to this list about how
>> including manuals which are under the GFDL with Invariant Sections or
>> other unmodifiable parts (which is similar to a CC with ND licence) in a
>> distribution makes that distribution non-free."
>> Yet the document you posted only covers points specific to CC-*-ND and
>> GNU Verbatim licenses.
>> For the licenses in question, I agree with many of your points. However,
>> those are entirely different beasts to the GFDL, which is the license
>> that seems more commonly used for software documentation in GNU/Linux
>> distributions. I don't see any of your concerns take issue with anything
>> the GFDL does, given the strict limitations placed on non-variant sections.
> Really?  That doesn't make sense to me.  You don't see any of the
> article's concerns take issue with anything the GFDL does?  How about "I
> he argues these are invalid reasons to use a no derivatives licence
> (such as GFDL with Invariant Sections or other unmodifiable part).
> Actually, how about the whole article he posted.

Let's try and keep this civil.

When reading the article, consider the reasoning on each point as to why
it says what it says. All arguments (but one which I'll discuss below)
are basically "because someone might want to do X, Y, Z and we can't if
it's non-free". But the invariant sections in GFDL don't cover the text
in the scenarios given, so there does not appear to be cause for concern.

Then there is the argument (not saying that I agree) that having the
invariant section is pointless because things might be protected in
other ways. How does this matter? What practical reason is there to
remove those parts if they aren't harming anyone?

In my opinion, Debian (as an example) is missing out on a lot of GFDL
documentation - but at what cost? As I indicated to you previously, I
have yet to see an actual example of a GFDL non-variant section causing
anyone grief. So back to my point; even if the non-variant section is
pointless, it's on the people who have issue with it to explain why it's
an issue - not for the FSF or the authors to drop it just for the sake
of consistency or whatever it is that people are upset about.

> I'd like know why you think GFDL with Invariant Sections or other
> unmodifiable parts is good for free software manuals and yet for the
> article posted you "agree with many of your [its] points".

What do you mean by "other unmodifiable parts"? The invariant sections -
the "Secondary Sections" - appear to be quite specific in what they can
do, which is the *only* reason they aren't a problem. Software
documentation (as an example) under licenses like CC-*-ND are indeed a
problem - no argument from me there. Again, let's not confuse the issue
by brining unrelated licenses into this.


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