Free Music License?

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at
Thu Aug 18 08:57:39 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-08-17 at 16:41 +0200, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:
> At Wed, 17 Aug 2005 15:56:53 +0200,
> Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> >
> > There is a perfectly valid reason in not changing a non-functional
> > work, like my memoirs, or your toughts about how much you love
> > butterflies.  You shouldn't be able to change what I or you thought
> > about an issue.
> What is this valid reason?


Jeroen you are taking this discussion to the extreme I would suggest you
thinking some more before writing this way. I think you're just
answering on impulsively and not thinking at all about the matter, just
trying to defend your position. This is not dialog.

Would you accept me quoting you in a mail but changing your words to say
"I love proprietary software, you bastards!" when instead you wrote: "I
love free software my friends" ?

I don't think so, and this is a stupid example. Political thoughts are
delicate and not being allowed to change MY thoughts cannot be
considered a limitation of YUOR freedom, unless you consider freedom as
being able to do whatever you like disregarding others freedom. 

> > There is also a perfectly valid reason in having invariant sections in
> > a document, I might have written a document about how you twiddle
> > frobs in a black box, and wish to give a note to everyone that my
> > (non-existent) wife baked me cookies when I wrote the book and how
> > much it helped me, and include a recipe for these cookies.  I also
> > don't want to have someone modify the recipe to produce something
> > horrible so that everyone will think that my wife can't cook.
> So how is your non-existant wife baking cookies more important than my
> freedom?

It is a personal thought of the author, something intimate, something
that have nothing to do with your freedom.

> > I also might want to make this note to my wife non-removable, since
> > the book would not have been possible without her support.
> >
> > For documentation, all this makes sense, for source code it does not.
> Why?

This is a question I would do too, why ...
Now before you can even think about the answer you should first ask
yourself, what limit to my freedom do something like that mean in the
case of a _documentation_ book ? Are they acceptable?
If you accept the limit on freedom posed by the GNU GPL (freedom to take
parts of the software without sticking to the license) as a good balance
you should think if an invariant section may be a good balance in the
case of a document, a book, an article, etc ...

> > One can agree that not being able to remove the invariant sections can
> > be a bit troublesome if you have 1000 people who add such sections,
> > each adding their own anecdote about how much they loved (or hated) my
> > wife's cookies.
> Yes. Certainly so when people are going to add religous and political
> text. So what are the reasons for having all these potential
> troublesome things?

Being Humans ?
I think we can discuss the idea of letting people use the variant
sections in other works, I do not see why you should be able to strip
out all the invariant section from a book and still refer to the new
work as it was the previous book. What kind of freedom to you get form
that? Would you really do that? In which case? Why?

> > To me the GFDL has other problems, namely, it being a overall complex
> > document, far to complex to be grasped in the same way that the GNU
> > GPL can be grasped.  If the GFDL has invariant sections, or not, is
> > frankly a side issue which everyone seems to miss.
> No, because I think my freedom is more important than the complexity
> of a document. If a license is complex but grants everybody enough
> freedom, that is far smaller problem than if a license takes away
> necessary freedoms.

Can you express which freedom of yours is being getting out by the GFDL?
What about the author freedom? Where's the balance? Why people that
whines against the GFDL has not yet been able to:
A) explain clearly which is the problem in a public article so that all
people can understand your illumination? 
B) Propose a better license for documentation that address the same
problem that the GFDL try to solve?

No, saying: "the GNU GPL is the right one because it grants my freedom"
is not enough, sorry. 

> >    There is just no reason to accept such a restriction.
> > 
> > Just because you cannot see the need for such a `restriction' doesn't
> > mean that there are good reasons to protect ones freedom to have it.
> What are these good reasons? I still haven't heard this reason for
> taking away my freedom.

You should first clearly express which freedom is taken away from you,
which freedom is taken away from the author, and why our freedom is more
important then the freedom of expression of the author.

Please try to honestly answer to my question, if you can effectively
explain me these things, I'm willing to think about them and perhaps
change my mind. Please do not just rant for the sake of it, it makes no
sense and just weaken your position.


Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at
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via Garofalo, 39 - 20133 - Milano
mobile: +39 329 328 7702
tel. +39 02 2953 4143 - fax: +39 02 700 442 399

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