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.
The [http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html official page for the FDL].
Richard Stallman [http://www.debian.org/Lists-Archives/debian-legal-0001/msg00077.html 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 [http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.1.txt version 1.1 of the GNU FDL].
- the FSF publishes version 1.2 of the GNU FDL.
- 2003-08-21 .. 2003-08-28
["?BrandenRobinson"] conducts a survey of debian-legal: [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/08/msg00605.html Is the GNU FDL a DFSG-free license?], then later [http://lists.debian.org/debian-www/2003/08/msg00270.html posts the results].
["NathanaelNerode"] [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/08/msg01115.html proposes a change] to the Debian website, pointing to his brief [http://home.twcny.rr.com/nerode/neroden/fdl.html Why You Shouldn't Use the GNU FDL] article.
["Manoj Srivastava"] [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg00703.html publishes] a draft [http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml Debian position statement on the FDL].
[http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_001 Debian GR 2006-01] Option 2 passes: "GFDL-licensed works without unmodifiable sections are free".
the FSF [http://www.fsf.org/news/gfdl-dd1.html publishes the first discussion draft for version 2 of the GNU FDL].
Mailing list discussion:
debian-legal: [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/08/msg00693.html 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 [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg00545.html long sub-thread on the definition of "software"] started by ["?MathieuRoy"] exemplifies the resulting conflicts and confusions.
debian-legal: ["NathanaelNerode"] identifies a [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg01203.html key point on which the Debian and FSF positions disagree] with regard to freedom.
RMS makes explicit that [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg01220.html 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.
RMS states that [http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/09/msg01221.html he doesn't believe it matters whether the FDL is a free software license].
I am not sure if the GFDL is a free software license, but I don't think the question matters.