FDL (was: Free Music License?)

Bernhard R. Link brl at pcpool00.mathematik.uni-freiburg.de
Thu Aug 18 19:19:24 UTC 2005

* Simo Sorce <simo.sorce at xsec.it> [050818 19:56]:
> Sure, you could if I were not in topic, can't I say your text is silly
> if I think it is?

You can say whatever you want. But you are hard to distinguish from a
troll the way you write.

> That's why I wrote "document/book", I know you're speaking about writing
> documentation for free software. But your arguments can apply only when
> the docs are so voluminous they can also be called a book, in other
> cases I do not think there's any problem in rewriting a document if the
> GFDL does not meet your taste.

I recently (well, for fitting values of recently) rewrote a manpage due to
this. And you can be assured that my arguments are not only theoretical
but influenced from the utter frustration while doing so.

> Yes there's a lack of it, but having seen how documentation is built I
> can say I've never seen the licensing problems you cite, they are
> theoretical problems, but I have never heard a real story of people
> being unable to extend suitably an GFDL text because of license
> incompatibilities, if you have such stories then make them public, they
> will help in debating over real problems of the GFDL.

I won't answer to such a troll paragraph. Sorry.

> > I may be able to do that for some stentences or for a small passages, 
> > as that might not be enough to be counted as protected by copyright law,
> > but I will never know which jurisdiction will allow me how much?
> It's enough it is ok in your jurisdiction as the Berne convention
> applies for others most probably and I do not think it is a big problem
> to ask the single author of a sentence the permission to cite it. I do
> not consider plausible a scenario where you want to cite thousands of
> sentences, that means you're basically copying over a text not citing
> it.

I'm sorry to inform you that the Berne convention is no law, nowhere.
It's a treaty between states what kind of laws they want to make, and
only those laws are relevant. (Unless you are a country and want to
sue another country before the WIPO or things like that).

German law for example only allows me eighter to take portions and
fragments too small to be protected. (Which I think hardly applies to
taking half a sentence from each of several dozend or hundred of
program options) or to cite, which I only discussed in the mail
you are answering).

> So you are reluctant to call the GNU GPL free because you are required
> to ask permission to the author if you want to copy part of the GPL
> covered work in your BSD license covered work without being forced to
> move to the GPL license yourself ?

No, but I'd consider a license non-free that only allows to me to use
the rights to use, copy, modify and so forth to make e.g. an OCR
software. Or if the license only allows no translations into other
languages and only compilation into arm-code. (Also when someone
arguments people might use obscure languages to remove the freedom
to use it and compilation might be use compilation to translate
it to another language, and that the program in question is only
usefull on that one embedded device only having an arm processor). 

> So if invariant section are "another" problem, which is the real
> problem? Just license incompatibility with GPLed code?

The uselessness for free software documentation due to this 
(incompatibility with GPLed code) and lacking support for
most documentation formats but printed and electronic books,
as I wrote in my previous mails...

	Bernhard R. Link

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