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Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] GFDL

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Savannah-hackers-public] GFDL
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 11:56:59 +0000

Sylvain Beucler <address@hidden>

Thank you for your reply. I am confused by the following:

> IMHO a secondary section cannot be that easily by-passed, but indeed
> I'm not a lawyer.

Please would you explain how you feel the FDL prevents a secondary
section that denies climate change?

If you are not lawyerly, is there one on savannah-hackers?
Many GNU manuals have misapplied FDL so far, including things
such as designating the licence as an invariant section (thereby
disabling the upgrade clause) or designating technical sections
as invariant (GDB).

> Also don't confuse preventing addition of 'global
> warming' statements in derivates versions and accepting such changes
> in a project manual.

I'm not aware that any of us are doing that. It is little comfort
that we are not forced to accept lies into our source if someone
makes a heavily-enhanced version of our work expressing views
that odious, or worse (National Front?).  We cannot compete
with that version on the same terms unless we repeat their lies.

> Similarly we would like Texinfo documents at Savannah to be compatible
> with the GNU manuals. This is something we can't achieve if we accept
> GNU GPL manuals. We do not impose a particular license, just
> compatibility, and we'd rather have people release such manuals under
> _at least_ the GFDL rather than not being able to reuse them at
> all. We also require the GFDL'd documents to be version 1.2 or any
> later version so that any issue that can be found in the current
> version of this license will be fixed with the next one.

This looks like a bug in GNU, not in free software itself.
The obvious solution would seem to be to relicense the GNU
manuals under the GPL, but I assume that's not on offer yet.

A work under the FDL is incompatible with any free software
licence because it is an adware licence.  If you seek just
compatibility, please select a free software licence that is
compatible with the FDL (so, non-copyleft) and use that in the
recommendation or requirement. However, not all licences are
as good as the GPL when it comes to adaptability to non-program
software and some authors strongly prefer copyleft.

> In this regard, I asked what is the preferred way to send concerns
> about the GFDL in general. address@hidden would be glad to receive
> comments and use them for work on GFDL revision 3.

Most of these comments have been made for over 5 years now!
I have been told that there is a new draft of the FDL ready
for publication. Please publish it, so we can comment topically.

> DRM criticism about
> the GNU GPLv3 draft would probably also be useful in this aim.

The GPLv3 process is rather closed and difficult to access,
so I cannot comment at present. I am discussing this with its
webmasters, but I am frustrated that you direct me to a process
that I cannot access myself.

> This is not about accepting a non-free license (the GFDL is a free
> documentation license), and this is not about rejecting free software
> at Savannah (we already do so by rejecting ASL'd software - until GNU
> GPLv3 is out, that is :)).

The FDL is not a free software licence and there is no agreed
meaning of "free documentation". Savannah is a project of the
Free Software Foundation. Please support free software. The
best way is to recommend projects to be 100% free software,
and not require FDL use.

Best wishes,
My Opinion Only: see
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