FDL requirements for original author

Yavor Doganov yavor at gnu.org
Sat Feb 9 12:05:07 UTC 2008

Ben Finney wrote:
>     <URL:http://old.law.columbia.edu/my_pubs/anarchism.html>

The fact that this essay is in the section "Third Party Ideas" is not
a mere coincidence, IMO.

It is important to understand that not everything that flies is
delicious when cooked and that the mushrooms in the forest cannot be
treated equally.

Software is useless without a computer to compile (and/or interpret)
and execute it, while a you can read a printed manual in the park
without any machine at all.  Not all written bits of digitally
representable information are useful for the society to be modified,
so I find it hard to believe that a math book with an invariant
section "Dedicated to John Doe, my first student at the Foo
University" renders the work non-free.

It would be substantially easier if judgement about freeness of a work
is a boolean value, e.g. "This byte is modifiable, it is free" or
"This byte is not modifiable, it is non free".  But human brains are
not mechanical parsers, and issues like these deserve serious thought;
not always the easiest implementation/route is the right one.

The GNU FDL, although not ideal in some circumstances, is the most
suitable license for such type of works.  The new versions coming out
soon will be even better.

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