FDL (was: Free Music License?)

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at xsec.it
Thu Aug 18 08:30:36 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-08-17 at 17:07 +0200, Bernhard R. Link wrote:

> And while they have all obvious and subtle differences, and may be best
> when written from scratch, this is just impossible. By sheer lack of
> time I can neigther rewrite my Operating System every time I it for
> some other target, nor can I write enough documentation without
> heavily using everything else documentating this program including the
> source code of it.

Rewriting an operating system or rewriting a document/book are 2
entirely different tasks, and you either do not write OSs or do not
write books if you try to make such a silly comparison. Why do you think
each year get printed many thousands of new books and no OSs ?

> Thus the information and its copyrightable containers in forms of
> sentences and paragraphs must be able to flow between all these
> different forms and ideally the source code of the machine interpreted
> code of the program, too.

And you can do that for sentences, and probably small paragraphs too.

> Adding unnecessary limits to this flow between different aspects
> (What is a title page of a manpage? What that of a cup? Where do 
> I "include a unaltered copy" of the 3278 words license on a mouse 
> pad? Does every manpage count as "document" and has to contain the 
> license and all those possible invariant sections?) or between
> the documentation and the program (Are the texts of the tooltips
> only mere aggregation though all of this logik when to show which?
> Or do I have to write them in a clear-room implementation on my
> own?) keeps us away from getting free programs with free documentation.

When will people stop whining about things like this?
It is just not the truth, don't you know that you can cite other authors
works? Citation is permitted by copyright law, so you can extract a
little portion of even a GFDL covered book and put it on a Mouse Pad
without problems. Do you also know you can contact the author and ask
for permission to get substantial parts of a text and agree on a
different license?

> So please, whenever you have or feel to release something under GFDL,
> please consider dual-license it adding the permissions of the GNU GPL
> or any other free software compatible with the program documented.

No, you can't generalize like that. If I express my political views in a
paragraph, I want them to stay as they are, verbatim, that's why
invariant sections exists. If they didn't exist I would be forced to put
all the work under a verbatim license as I do not agree others can
change MY thoughts. So the GFDL is a lot more Free then a verbatim
license for instance and give enough freedom to change technical parts,
correct errors, update info in a text without falling in revisionism.

I would consider a 1.new license that give the permission to use the
variant parts of the text in other works under the GNU GPL license.
That probably makes sense.


Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at xsec.it
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