FDL again, was: My concerns about GPLv3 process

Eneko Lacunza hispalinux.listas at enlar.net
Wed Feb 22 20:11:46 UTC 2006

Hi Alfred,

El vie, 10-02-2006 a las 12:23 +0100, Alfred M. Szmidt escribió:
> Este mensaje ha sido analizado y protegido contra virus y spam 
>    Why is different the "free" as in freedom concept for documentation
>    from the concept of "free" as in freedom for "software"?
> It isn't that different, the four freedoms still apply.  The
> difference is that the content isn't a functional work, and one may
> wish to attach a dedication to the text, or maybe something else that
> isn't related at all to the actual text.

But there are problems with this. If every contributer/derivator adds a
dedication, then we can end with lots of dedications for a relatively
small piece of work. 

And besides that, FDL doesn't limit the purpose of an invariant section,
so in fact is allowing to restrict the freedom to modify the work.

>    Why does FSF have two distinct opinions about the adequate level of
>    freedom for manuals and for software?
> Because they are different.  It is that simple.
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-doc.html

But the 4 freedoms do not change, it does not matter wheter it is
software or not.

>    There is no doubt that free software needs free documentation, even
>    FSF says this. If so, why does FSF allow restrictions to
>    modifications of documentation (using FDL) that does not allow for
>    software?
> Because such restrictions make sense, you don't need the right to
> modify my thoughts about why I wrote the book, or to whom I dedicated
> the book.

	That's right. But then, your thought are not free, and if you insist to
attach those thoughts to your work, then your work neither is free.

	You cannot pretend to do a free document, and then pretend that it has
a part that can't be striped and modified. Because then it is not free.

>    There is people that thinks software is the conjuction of programs
>    and their documentation (and other thing, like images, etc.). For
>    example, Debian project seems to think this way.
> Debian consideres _everything_ software, which is simply bogus.  Some
> images might make sense to have as verbatim only, same applies for
> many texts about philosophy, or even music recordings.  This does not
> apply to functional works, like software, where modification is an
> essential right.
> You don't need the right to modify my poem about dragons, or infact,
> this text.

	I agree that Debian's position is quite arguable, but they're doing it.

	I also agree that it makes sense that some philosophy text, music
recordings or images can't be changed. But IF they can't be changed,
they are NOT free. Let's not pretend that everything must be free and
next change the meaning of freedom.

	I can agree that a program is free, if it uses/contains a
non-modifiable (thus, non-free) image, as long as it can be striped out
of that (free!) program.

>    Why limit modification of documentation of a free program, if we do
>    not want that limit for the program itself and if the documentation
>    is necessary?
> You aren't limited anywhere when you modify free documentation of a
> free program.  This is like saying that you are limited by the GPL to
> create non-free works, which is simply nonsense.

	Sorry, but if the documentation of a free program has FDL, then it can
contain invariant sections, so that I am limited :)

Kind regards,

More information about the Discussion mailing list