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Re: Free non-software stuff and what does it mean. [was Re: General Resolution: Force AMD64 into Sarge]

On Fri, 23 Jul 2004, Adam Majer wrote:
> From now on I will file RC bugs against *ALL* software not written
> in straight C. Why? Because *I* consider that ALL non-C versions of
> the software are binary, and I *demand* the source code.

First off, we've consistently used "the prefered form for
modification" as the metric for determining whether something is
source or not. Clearly, if a program is written in C, the source is in
C. Likewise for R, ruby, perl, scheme, python, eiffel, assembly or
even machine language.

> This is *exactly* the same insane position you appear to represent.

The position advocated above is actually radically different from the
position that Andrew and others, including myself, have advocated.

> I'm cc'ing -legal because I need to know who is right on this. Are
> we going to start harassing upstream over "sources" to jpegs and
> oggs?

Harrasing? No. 

Should maintainers examine their packages and figure out if they
comply and then start communicating with upstream if they don't?


If the pictures are built from XCF files or PSD files instead of being
created tabula rasa as a jpeg or gif or whatever, then the the format
that upstream actually uses for modification or creation of the work
should be supplied.

Likewise if the picture was build using a shell script that uses image
magick, or an ogg file compiled from a wav that was generated using an
ecasound script from waveforms.

I'd imagine that we'd want to be fairly lax in dealing with works like
this, at least initially, but we need to maintain the ability to make
improvements to even data files that are included in Debian, wherever

> Or data, since it is inherently binary and thus non-readable by a
> human in raw form, source in itself?

This applies equally well to machine code, and thus really has no
bearing on whether the "prefered form for modification" should be made
available or not.

> That is, if,
> 1. data format is known, and
> 2. data is under a free license according to DFSG
> then such data is free according to DFSG.

If the work satisfies DFSG §2, then yes. If not, no.

Don Armstrong

Fate and Temperament are two words for one and the same concept.
 -- Novalis [Hermann Hesse _Demian_]


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