FDL requirements for original author

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Mon Feb 11 13:26:18 UTC 2008

Yavor Doganov <yavor at gnu.org> wrote:
> 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.

If it were indeed an invariant section (which it shouldn't be - it
should be a Dedication in the FDL's language, as I understand it),
then it would poison-pill the work.  Neither John Doe nor the Foo
University could become a primary topic of the work or any derivation,
so if John Doe went on to make new discoveries about that field of
maths, then they could not be incorporated and set into their context
by updating that text book.  How is that free?

Invariant sections may seem like a good idea, just like the
advertising clauses seemed like a good idea, but they're a pratical
pain in the backside and an easy way to make something non-free by
mistake (such as using an invariant section instead of a dedications
section) or malice.

The FDL should be nuked from orbit, just to be on the safe side. IIRC,
the SFDL is a bit better, although it still has some types of
invariant sections (including itself *in* the work, for example) but
BY-SA compatibility would leave a choice between invariant sections
and TPM-bans, neither of which are good IMO.

Hope that explains,
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