The Grumpy Editor's guide to free documentation licenses
Posted Oct 27, 2004 0:57 UTC (Wed) by piman
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's guide to free documentation licenses
> An FDL-licensed work with no invariant sections and no cover texts is, by most peoples' reckoning, free.
"Most peoples'" is, I think, an overstatement. I don't know anyone (except possibly the editor) who thinks this, and doesn't also think that a document with invariant sections and cover texts is still free. The remaining problems are not fundamental to the FDL (I think), but they do exist in its current version, and present real issues. The definitions of "transparent" and "opaque" copies leave much to be desired (and prevent "transcoding" to a new preferred format, which the GPL allows), and the anti-DRM restriction prevents even simple things like transferring the document over an SSL-encrypted channel.
http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml outlines these problems. It mostly focuses on the aforementioned invariant sections because those are usually the biggest point of contention, and the most complicated issue (and also more philosophically fundamental, while the rest are technical in nature). But there are other real problems with the FDL which make it impractical and non-free, that are all-too-often ignored.
to post comments)