FDL requirements for original author

Ben Finney ben at benfinney.id.au
Sat Feb 9 01:36:55 UTC 2008

On 08-Feb-2008, David Gerard wrote:
> GFDL is free by all measures if you don't use invariant sections and
> so forth, isn't it? Does anyone dispute that?

Unmodifiable sections (not merely those the license calls "Invariant 
Sections") are only the most prominent of the problematic issues of 
the FDL. Even if a specific work does not exercise those parts of the 
license, the other problems remain.

    "Draft Debian Position Statement about the GNU Free Documentation 
    Not ratified, but does cover many of the problems with the freedom 
    of works under the FDL.

    "A Simple Guide to the Problems of the GNU FDL"

Many of the remaining problems have to do with the license attempting 
to have "documentation" distinct from "program", even though there are 
many works that are clearly both (e.g. Postscript documents).

It's unfortunate that some within the FSF choose to interpret 
"software" as equivalent to "program", instead of the more tenable 
position that "software" is a term as opposed to "hardware". This 
leads to the even worse position that documentation recipients deserve 
freedoms different from the freedoms deserved by recipients of 

 \          “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our |
  `\        will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of |
_o__)                                       others.” —Thomas Jefferson |
Ben Finney <ben at benfinney.id.au>
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