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[Savannah-hackers-public] Licenses for documentation in Savannah project

From: Francesco Poli
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] Licenses for documentation in Savannah projects
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 22:47:27 +0100

I am a Savannah user and free software supporter.

I was really disappointed to read the following at

| we plan to ask new projects to release documentation under a license
| compatible with the GNU Free Documentation License.
| As always, it is perfectly acceptable to dual-license the work under
| the GFDL and another license, if needed.

The GFDL is a *bad* license:

* it fails to be a real copyleft license, as it allows adding
unmodifiable and unremovable stuff (Invariant Sections, Front/Back-Cover
Texts, Dedications, ...)

* it includes a far too broad anti-DRM clause which can be interpreted
as forbidding even the most common encryption and access control

* it contains an ill-phrased definition of Transparent Format where
technical details, rather than intents, are used to determine what
qualifies as Transparent, thus causing practical problems whenever a
document includes parts that don't fit the scenarios the definition
refers to

* it's overly long and complicated, poses significant burden on
redistributors and modifiers

* it's incompatible with the GNU GPL v2 in both ways (unless a separate
permission is obtained from every and each copyright holder, nobody else
can copy and paste material between a GPL'd program and its GFDL'd

The GFDL is not a license suitable for releasing free software and
causes significant practical inconvenience.
Since I strongly believe that documentation is as important as programs
and that both deserve to grant their users the same freedoms, I
definitely recommend *against* adopting the GFDL for any work.

It's already awkward and embarassing that the FSF promotes such a
non-free license.
Forcing Savannah users to adopt it as a condition for having their
projects hosted would be really disappointing and unbelievable: we would
reach a point at which a project is rejected by Savannah for being
entirely under the GNU GPL, that is to say, for being Free!  :-(

    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
 Key fingerprint = C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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