Savannah rejects a project because it uses GPL

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at
Fri Feb 10 21:30:23 UTC 2006

   > It is usable for free software.  The GFDL has no `advertising
   > clause',

   So what would you call the expanded "credit" clause that seeks to
   entice legacy publishers to use FDL rather than a free software

What do you mean?  What `credit' clause? I don't see any `credit'
clause in the GFDL.  I don't even see any clause that tries to `entice
legacy publishers to use the GFDL'.  Please, back up your claims with
quotes from the license.

   > and has no `encyclopedia' problems,

   How could one include parts from the FDL'd Emacs manual in a FDL'd
   "Encyclopedia of GNU"? It looks like one must beg FSF's permission,
   as relying on a "fair dealing" defence would limit uses.

You simply include it, and follow the license.  It seems that you
haven't read the GFDL at all, maybe you should do that before basing
your arguments on cloudy opinions.  There are some conditions that you
must adher to, but so it is with all licenses.

   Rick Moen at TLDP raised this issue in 2004, in
   and I'm pretty sure that wasn't the first time it's been raised.

   > for some odd reason Wikipedia seems to thrive on the GFDL.

   I don't think that's a good example. Even today, many sites seem to
   ignore the FDL's terms when modifying Wikipedia and the Wikipedia
   FDL story includes questionable relicensing to remove invariant
   sections. See near the end of by Barak
   Pearlmutter: "In that case the GFDL served to discourage sharing.
   (It nearly prevented it entirely, had remedial measures of dubious
   legality not been taken.) [...] The Wikipedia used the GFDL because
   it was recommended by the FSF.  They used it in its natural way.
   And then they got burnt."

So you go about and quoting things from people who are simply
irrelevant.  Why can't you show a single specific case?  I don't see
Wikipedia getting burnt, I see Wikipedia thriving.  Please, once
again, back up your claims, you have now continued making abusrd
claims without any hint of evidence.

   So you claim only the manual is freely modifiable (not the
   invariant sections), but the manual can't exist without the
   invariants.  Is wany work which cannot be instantiated in an "all
   reasonable mods permitted" way ever free? (This is the
   "pickle-passing" question from debian-legal July 2003.)

Once again, this tries to incorrectly put everything under the same
label.  This is the error that you, and the Debian community has made.

   > The GFDL is perfectly usable for free software, despite your
   > claims which you cannot even back up.

   Sadly, I can back these up. I called the FDL incorrectly on day
   one, had this explained to me in excrutiating detail (I'm stubborn)
   and noted my reasons for changing my view.  Because of the sheer
   volume of material, there are numerous FAQs that you could read,
   but I'll try to answer as time permits if you're unwilling to
   research it.

So please, back it up.  If it is so simple, you could atleast point me
to one of these `numerous FAQs', I'm not sure what they try to answer.
FAQ's aren't software after all, and your claim is that the GFDL is
`unusable for free software'.  So once again, I ask you for concrete

   UTUTO-e has included non-free software programs in error (such as
   Macromedia Flash and Sun Java - sadly has
   vanished) and still includes non-free software manuals.

It includes manuals for non-free software? That seems silly.  Could
you point out which manuals so that they can be removed?

People make mistakes, if one tries to fix them, then all is good.
Debian refuses to fix their mistakes by continued promotion of
non-free software, and the exclusion of free documentation.

   By design, it's not a 100% free software distribution.  I can't
   check their current status, as their bug tracker now requires a
   username and password.

By design, it is 100% free software, compared to Debian where one must
include the non-free section to get proper documentation to programs.

   Debian doesn't include non-free software in the distribution,
   promises not to and whenever it happens, that's a serious bug.
   The debian bug tracker doesn't require passwords for most use.

Debian does include non-free software.  It promotes its usage by
giving space to host it.  Even Fedora is a better bet when it comes to
completely free GNU/Linux systems from the looks.  That the Debian
community tries to brush this away with `Oh, but it isn't in the
_MAIN_ repository! So all is OK'.  What would you think about the GNU
project and the GNU system having a specific section hosting non-free
software?  I'm quite sure that you would think that would be
hypocritical, atleast I would.  Debian has grown in this regard, from
having the non-free software section enabled by default, then by
asking users about it, and now simply removing it from any queries.
But it is still not as good as it could get, and untill that day,
Debian is sadly not a 100% free software system.

Considering the hostility one recives from the Debian community when
on tries to raise this, it might be a good thing for people to switch
to other systems, that respect users freedoms; like for example
UTUTO-e, BLAG or Dynebolic.

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