FDL (was: Free Music License?)

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at xsec.it
Thu Aug 18 09:49:30 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-08-18 at 05:02 -0400, Seth Johnson wrote:

> It's the nature of digital works that they can be manipulated,

True, nobody can object to that.

> and it seems to me to be appropriate that people recognize that a
> text that is not directly from the author, or attested to by the
> author, or PGP-stamped by the author, may have been modified.  I
> much prefer simply PGP-stamping text as a way of providing means
> to ascertain that the author's actual words are represented.  I
> always say what I write is out there in a malleable form; go
> ahead and do what you wish with it; just don't go misrepresenting
> me. 

Yes you are true, but the difference is that you say that people can, on
purpose, misrepresent you. That's possible of course, that's why there
are laws that sanction that.

>  This is the basic principle that we apply when people relay
> messages verbally, and it's part of the logic of paraphrasing,
> where you're expected to "go to the source" before taking
> somebody's version of what somebody else said at face value.  We
> continue to assume somebody's paraphrasing unless they indicate a
> direct quote with quotation marks.

I think invariant section are not there to prevent people to willfully
change your words, but to do that by mistake or in good faith. 

> Invariant sections are a strange concept when compared to
> traditional copyright jurisprudence -- they seem to project the
> idea that you have the ability to directly control what people do
> with the content of your expressive works once they're released

Control the content?? As copyright is about expression they can cover
only the expression of my ideas not the content. You can go and say
whatever you want of my ideas, in a GFDL text you can also add a new
paragraph and "tell the truth" about the invariant section you do not
like, it is just silly but possible.

> into the wild, which is not the real nature of copyright, WIPO
> and DMCA notwithstanding.  Copyright is a recourse that can be
> taken when infringements occur; it's not really about direct
> control.

You can't honestly compare an invariant section to a DRM mechanism,
please. Do you think the same of Verbatim copy texts ?

I think we can get away with copyright if we wish, and state clearly
that everything written in the digital age has the same value as oral
transmission, as modification is now trivial, I can accept that without
any problem. But if you want to speak about a license you should assume
all the legal framework and it's consequences.


Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at xsec.it
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