This is a loose timeline of the history of the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) issue within Debian. It's meant to be a "one-stop shop" for people who want to know more.
Richard Stallman posts a draft of version 1.0 of the GNU FDL; this began immediate discussion on the terms, and version 1.0 appears not to have been officially published.
the FSF publishes version 1.1 of the GNU FDL.
- the FSF publishes version 1.2 of the GNU FDL.
- 2003-08-21 .. 2003-08-28
Debian GR 2006-01 Option 2 passes: "GFDL-licensed works without unmodifiable sections are free".
Mailing list discussion:
debian-legal: A possible GFDL compromise
One of the more persistent arguments revolves around the difference between the FSF's position that users do not deserve the same freedoms in both programs and documentation, and the Debian position that all software (whether programs, documentation, audio, video, or any other) must meet the DFSG to be in Debian. This long sub-thread on the definition of "software" started by MathieuRoy exemplifies the resulting conflicts and confusions.
debian-legal: NathanaelNerode identifies a key point on which the Debian and FSF positions disagree with regard to freedom.
RMS makes explicit that he believes users deserve different freedoms depending on the interpretation of the bitstream.
I don't believe that political essays ought to be free in the same sense as documentation or [programs], for instance.
I am not sure if the GFDL is a free software license, but I don't think the question matters.