The GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) causes a number of problems (some of which are stated in http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_001.en.html#amendmenttexta), including:
- It has strange DRM-related provisions that aren't particularly clear, and are likely unenforceable
- Works having any "Invariant Sections" or "Cover Texts" are non-free
- Works with different cover texts aren't license-compatible
- Invariant sections don't really work on T-shirts or "quick reference" cards
- It is incompatible with the GPL
GCC developers can't generate documentation from code without RMS's say so and a dual-license on the code in question: Bug 44035 - internals documentation cannot be fixed without new GFDL license grants
- Similarly, Emacs developers can't just move/copy documentation between the elisp docstrings (which are shown interactively) and the manuals.
- Politely requesting that cover texts and certain sections be retained where it makes sense would probably work at least as well, for a fraction of the effort
- The GPL's provision that modified versions be clearly marked as such would prevent harmful modifications of sections like "The GNU Manifesto" and "Funding Free Software"
Because of these problems, the undersigned resolve not to contribute to any of the FSF's documents that are GFDL'd, until such time as their licensing is changed to be compatible with that of the associated software.
Samuel Bronson <email@example.com>