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Re: [Texmacs-dev] GNU FSL and Debian FDL conflict

From: Ralf Treinen
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] GNU FSL and Debian FDL conflict
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 22:32:31 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

In answer to an old message by Joris:

On Thu, May 01, 2003 at 04:47:28PM +0200, Joris van der Hoeven wrote:
> > The Debian people are raising an issue which is IMHO important.
> >
> > http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200304/msg00246.html
> >
> > It seems that documentation distributed under the GNU Free
> > Documentation License (GFDL) including Invariant Sections is
> > incompatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
> >
> > I have always been somewhat incomfortable with the idea of invariant
> > sections in GFDL licensed documentation, it seems that some people are
> > seeing a real problem there. It is debated whether it is even
> > reasonable to draw a distinction between code and documentation for
> > licensing purposes.
> >
> > So, the issues are:
> >
> >   Does the GFDL licensed TeXmacs documentation include any invariant
> >   sections?
> No.
> >   Should we have a policy regarding such invariant sections?
> We might withhold ourselves from using invariant sections.
> I do not really see any use for them anyway.
> Would this solve the problem?
> What about cover texts?
> Does that also raise a potential conflict?
> We might want to use cover texts in the future.

I haven't been reading debian-legal, however, recently  Manoj Srivastava 
copiled a summary of the ongoing discussion and announced it on the
debian-devel mailing list. The summary can be found at


Invariant sections (and front/back texts) indeed seem to be the
biggest problem. Fortunately you don't use them in the texmacs
documentation. However, as you can see from Manoj's summary,
it may be possible that the GFDL will be considered incompatible
with the DFSG. In this case all packages licenced in part or whole
under GFDL would be removed from the debian distribution unless
they change their licence.


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