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Re: PDF files and dh_compress


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Charles Plessy <charles-debian-nospam@plessy.org> wrote:

> On Wed, May 10, 2006 at 07:21:58AM +0200, Florian Weimer wrote :
>> * Frank Küster:
>> > Most PDF files in Debian are already compressed;  at least those
>> > which are generated on a Debian system, and somehow TeX is involved
>> > are.  
>> And those which haven't been rebuilt could well be non-free anyway
>> (because we lack the source code). 8->
> Dear all, dear Florian,
> I am preparing a package (1) in which I have added the the PDF manual
> (2) which in the public domain. It has been created from a MSWord
> document. The upstream author is considering rewriting it in LaTeX, but
> of course, ther is no guarantee that it will be done shortly.

It shouldn't be hard, though (no fancy formatting, tables etc.). By the
way, I'd strongly recommend to *not* write it in LaTeX.  At least the
part about the commandline options looks like it should be kept in some
format that allows to create the man page from it.

> Does it mean that I have to remove the pdf documentation, and indicate
> to the users how to download it by themselves in the manpage and/or
> README.Debian?

No, you have two alternative options: Either get the word document from
the author and check whether it can be handled by OpenOffice.  I'm not
sure whether it's necessary to recreate the PDF from OpenOffice (nor
whether OpenOffice is scriptable), but you should at least check that
the PDF file uses only free fonts.

If you can't get the word document, we can still distribute the PDF file
in non-free.

> Interestingly, one could consider that a PDF file is not a program. 

Which is irrelevant - Debian has resolved by General Resolution that all
material in the distribution has to be free according to the DFSG, not
only programs.

> As in addition this one is in the public domain, it has no licence nor
> copyright. 

This is contradictory or at least unclear.  In many legislations,
there's no such thing as "public domain", so it *needs* a public-domain
like license, e.g.

"You may use, modify and/or distribute this test without restrictions."

> Does it mean that the DFSG do not apply and that I can
> distribute it in the debian package ?

The fact that something has been put in the Public Domain does not mean
that the DFSG would not apply to it - it just means that it is DFSG-free.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

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