[Pkg-doc-linux-devel] Re: LDP "non-free" documents

David Lawyer dave@lafn.org
Thu, 10 Mar 2005 15:56:57 -0800

I urge Debian to create "Free Documentation Guidelines" which are quite
different from the "Free Software Guidelines".  The situation for
documentation is much different than software.  And even for software, I
don't think the the Debian Guidelines are good, but that's another long

Free writings need to have certain restrictions on modification.  For
example, if I write: "The U.S. did not find weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq" and then someone removes "not" and leaves me as an author.
So modification without restrictions allows inserting lies, misleading
statements and advertising into documents which is a very bad thing.

Prohibiting modification under all circumstances is also a very bad
thing.  Thus I believe that people should have the right (or freedom) to
read documents that are accurate and don't contain advertising
(including pop-up ads).  Provided of course that it was the intent of
the author to grant people such freedoms.  I think it's time to write
new guidelines and licenses to deal with this situation.

What I'm saying is that modification should be encouraged if it strives
to maximize the utility of the doc to the readers and doesn't result in
restricting free distribution of the doc.  I've thought of trying to
draft such a license but I'm reluctant to do so if it doesn't get used.
At least the current LDP license requirements would allow it.

			David Lawyer