Subject: Re: FSBs and mechanized documentation
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 15:47:33 +0900

>>>>> "simo" == simo  <> writes:

    simo> On Wed, 2006-03-08 at 13:36 -0800, Ben Tilly wrote:
    >> I suspect that Stephen is talking about the anti-DRM provisions
    >> in GPLv3.

    simo> But that's about distribution not use as far as I can tell.

The FDL allows authors to restrict your use of documentation to a
combination of whatever you want to use it for, plus their advertising
or advocacy vehicle.  You can say that's only effective if you
distribute; I reply that it *is* an effective restriction on use if
you distribute.[1]  It is precisely this restriction that forces the
FSF to declare that the FDL is _not_ a free software license.

So documentation is a second-class citizen, undeserving of the
privileges and attention granted to code ... which is a *problem*, the
problem this thread is intended to address.

The GPLv3 declares "this software is not part of an effective
mechanism" (or whatever the formal statement is).  That is an explicit
restriction on use.

[1]  Note the implication of the interpretation that it's "only
effective if you distribute" is to restrict "use" to *private* use.
The effect of this interpretation on the FSF assignment's giveback
clause is not pleasant.  The alternative is to declare that "when we
use the word 'use' it means what we want it to mean".  Urk.

Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
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