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Rewording Edit

I submitted a relatively large change. While the diff itself may be big, especially in the preamble, but I don't think I've made significant changes to the tone of the content. As a result, I think it is probably alright coming this late.

Here's a summary of the larger changes or set of changes that I made:

I removed a number of "therefores", and a number of comma-separated clauses acting as parenthetical asides that I thought it could survive without. I tried to break up a few long sentences. This was all purely stylistic.

I dropped the "in addition to a requirement of author attribution" from the preamble because it's clear without it (IMHO) and because it seems to qualify a statement about essential freedoms which we speak out against below. I think it's best to state clearly that there are essential freedoms and then there are some extra restrictions that do not in fact have an impact on these essential freedom. Attribution is one of these but need not be specially cases. This way it doesn't sound like an exception but an explanation that it is by definition free.

In two paragraphs of the first three paragraphs there are these two lists:

artistic works, scientific and educational materials, commentary, reports, and documents
Works built by communities collaborating as volunteers, art created for the purpose of shared enjoyment, essential learning materials, scientific research funded through taxpayer money, and many other works do not benefit from artificial scarcity.

They seem to be redundant so I've tried to reduce it to just one list where the the first list was.

I've removed "regardless of their profession, their beliefs, their country of origin, or any other criteria" and just say "anyone, anywhere, for any purpose." I think it's just as clear and more general.

I switched the strange switch into the second person in the paragraph with the god like creator. It read nice but was a jarring switch.

I added a line or two mentioning that some licenses are also used purely to take away people's freedoms. ASCAP is a licensing organization. The last draft talks about licenses as if they are only used to give away freedom but they were first used to sell freedom in restrained ways.

I was confused by the line: "Indeed, depending on the nature of the work, it may even be unethical to deny any of the enumerated freedoms above." It seems like our argument in this document is that it's always unethical, on some level, to restrict essential freedom. I think that this sort of confuses the issue and, in any case, don't add much where it was.

I removed this phrase:

This definition only covers freedom in terms of copyright law; usage of a work may be restricted by other laws.

I guess I have two issues here. First, it's not clear what these other laws and this sounds very legalistic for a statement of principles. More importantly, it seems like we would want to oppose other types of freedoms articulated in other types of law as well. The FSD is useful in opposing patents just as well as copyright (which the overly forumlate OSD could not). I don't think it's necessary.

I've removed this phrase:

"Explicitly, it must not limit commercial use of the work."

Because I basically moved it into the list of essential freedoms above. There was already an example there and I think that this is important enough it's worth dealing with a little higher up in the document. I think it's now more clear and doesn't need to be mentioned below.

-- Benjamin Mako Hill 02:01, 30 April 2006 (CEST)

I'll have another edit later. The main problem I have is with the changes in the first few paragraphs about "information goods". First, I don't like this phrase because it essentially adopts the language of information as property, a commodity. I find it somewhat amusing that you would choose this language given your objections to the word "content". ;-) I find the argument against attempts to equate information with physical property very persuasive, and am inclined to remove this phrase entirely from the document.
The second problem is with the change to the examples enumerated in the beginning. The ones chosen - "Works built by communities collaborating as volunteers, art created for the purpose of shared enjoyment, essential learning materials, scientific research funded through taxpayer money, .." - were chosen explicitly because the argument that these works should be free is strongest and most persuasive. Reworded, it essentially sounds like a declaration against copyright on "anything that can be represented as a sequence of bits". This can definitely not stay this way.--Erik Möller 02:54, 30 April 2006 (CEST)