FDL again, was: My concerns about GPLv3 process

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at gnu.org
Sun Feb 12 12:47:44 UTC 2006

   Now you (Alessandro) described how even FDL without invariant
   sections and cover texts can be harmful (because you can't prevent
   others from adding some).

None of what Alessandro described is harmful, it is explcitly allowed
by the license.  You are claiming that there are problems when there
are none, it is like having people claiming that the GPL has problems
by disallowing a GPLed project being converted into a non-free

   Now the FSF can, of course, by the FDL, include the new content
   into their distribution, but not without also adding the new
   invariant sections. What would they do?

Same thing they would do if they wanted to include GPLed code into
Emacs: require a copyright transfer.  This is required for GNU
projects, and should be required for _any_ and _all_ projects.  That
people think that there has to be some kind of a `free for all' is

If you wish to have a way to enforce the copyright, then you will need
to have copyright papers.  Otherwise, you cannot enforce it at all, it
really doesn't matter what license you are using.  A judge would love
to hear "Sorry your Honour, but I couldn't gather the copyright
holders to actually sue the accused'.

This is a misconception you, and others have shown repatedly when it
comes to copyleft, that unless you have a single copyright holder (or
a very small number), it is impractible to enforce the license.  And
if you cannot enforce the license, the license looses its charm.

In theory, anyone can go and make Linux a non-free program, since it
is simply impossible to enforce the license there.

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