FDL again, was: My concerns about GPLv3 process

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at gnu.org
Wed Feb 22 23:14:43 UTC 2006

   I do not understand "Q.E.D.". For the other part, if you understand
   "run" as "read", which I think is quite appropiate, it works.

QED means `quod erat demonstrandum', which is Latin for `which was

Exchanging `run' for `read' will not make any difference, specially
since if you do that change, you still have those freedoms with
documents licensed under the GFDL, you can modify, use, study and
distribute GFDLed documents.

But obviously, such these freedoms to not extend to _all_ written
works.  See below...

   Your thoughts and opinions and yours, and if I change the document
   that has them writen down, the text contained in the document no
   longer are your thoughts and opinions. So what?

The resulting document claims that Rui Miguel claims something that he
simply doesn't claim.  And people will think that this is what Rui
Miguel thinks.

   I can equally create a document from scratch that contains texts
   with thoughts and opinions that are not yours :)

Sure, but Rui would be able to sue you if you claimed that he thought
those things if you did write it from scratch, not so if you modifed
the actual text from Rui.

   I respect you to not want the text you've written be modified, no
   matter the contents, but then it is NOT FREE.

No, it isn't `non-free'.  First you need to define what `free' means.
You have not done this, clearly, the freedom to modify a work in
anyway or form for an text that states ones personal opinion is not a
right anyone other than the author should have.

   > The moment you want to make it so that what _I_ wrote is
   > something else, you're placing words in my mouth, so you're not
   > exercising freedom.

   But I can do it anyway without modifying a document written by you

Unless you wish to get sued for libel, defamnation, slander, etc, no,
you cannot.  You could do it if Rui or anyone else licensed a work
under a license which explicitly allows for such modifications though.

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

   No. I'm limited because someone can insert invariant sections
   later, a newly modified derivation. I can't reuse that derived
   version without taking the invariant section with it. :-)

You can't take a GPLed licensed work without licensing the derived
work under the same terms as the GPL.  So you cannot reuse the
resulting work under a GPL-incompatible license.  Nothing different
for the GFDL.
   I must say that I was quite convinced that GFDL was a free
   documentation license some time ago. But after Debian's GR I
   researched a bit so that I understood why the resolution was
   approved. After reading all this read and some suplementary links
   provided by Alessandro Rubini, I'm more convinced that ever that
   GFDL is not free.

The GFDL is clearly a free documentation license, it allows for all
the freedoms: "studying", modification, distribution, copying.  It is
clearly not a free _software_ license, nobody disputes this, Debian
requires all the things it includes to be under a free software
license, even for non-software, this is simply illogical for many
reasons which have been stated and restated several times now.


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