FDL again, was: My concerns about GPLv3 process

Frank Heckenbach frank at g-n-u.de
Fri Feb 17 06:47:52 UTC 2006

Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:

>    That's why it's harmful. If it wasn't allowed by the license, it
>    could simply be prohibited by enforcing the license. If you don't
>    think the outcome (as I described in an extreme form) is harmful,
>    then we just have to disagree. I think it's harmful, so I don't
>    like the FDL.
> That you consider it harmful is one thing, it doesn't make the clauses
> harmful in it self.  

Alessandro and I described scenarios with outcomes that follow from
what the FDL clauses allow (1) and those outcomes we consider
harmful (2).

(1) was derived by logical conclusion. Your only refutation to them
that I can see, that the FSF could *require* copyright assignments
(rather than ask for them), has been disproven. So unless other
flaws in the way of conclusions are pointed out, it follows that the
clauses are as harmful as the outcomes we described, or even more
harmful (if there are even worse outcomes that have not been found

(2) is, of course, a matter of opinion. But according to (1) it
follows that if you don't consider the clauses harmful, you also
cannot consider these outcome (as we described) harmful, if your
opinions are logically consistent. You can have this opinion, sure,
and we can have different opinions. So far, you haven't tried to
explain your opinion (i.e., why you don't consider these scenarios
problematic, or else which benefits the FDL gives that would justify
the problems), so it's no wonder you don't convince anyone. Just
repeating "different works need different freedoms" (even if assumed
to be true) does not imply that exactly the FDL provisions are best,
even less so in the presence of concrete examples that seem to
indicate otherwise.

>    > In theory, anyone can go and make Linux a non-free program, since
>    > it is simply impossible to enforce the license there.
>    Back up this claim.
> What part of `in theory' didn't you get?

I got every part of it, really. Do you mean to imply that claims in
theory need no backing up? (If so, you might mean by "theory" what
others call "fiction".)


Frank Heckenbach, frank at g-n-u.de
GnuPG and PGP keys: http://fjf.gnu.de/plan (7977168E)

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