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Re: Minified files and source code requirement

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:

> To me, the source of something is *a* form suitable for modification of
> the work.  This is *not* necessarily the same thing as the GPL's "the
> preferred form of the work for making modifications to it."  I think
> Debian's term means that the form has to be suitable for modification by a
> reasonable "average person" who is technically skilled enough to be able
> to modify the work.  I think it's a bit of a leap that it necessarily
> means that it has to be whatever form that the author of the work
> personally prefers, and even more of a leap that it has to be the form
> that the author of the work used originally.

I completely disagree with this because I thought free software was
about equality.

Free software licenses bring back the equality broken by copyright law.

These licenses are completely irrelevant if we do not have equality of
access to the source form of a work.

> For example, suppose I include an image in a piece of software that I
> generated by taking a digital photograph of something in RAW, manipulating
> it in Photoshop, and then exporting it as a JPEG.  What's the source?  In
> the GPL sense, one can make an argument that the original RAW image is the
> preferred form for modification, since if I had it available I'd probably
> use it rather than the JPEG to make further changes.  However, I think the
> JPEG is perfectly reasonable source from the Debian perspective: there is
> nothing about the JPEG that prevents people from making further
> transformations and changes and creating a derivative work.  It may not be
> ideal, similar to how working with source without the revision history
> from the original VCS repository isn't ideal, but it's certainly
> *possible* and even reasonable.

The ideal source for that is obviously RAW + manipulation instructions
+ JPEG export settings.

Given just a JPEG I would consult upstream to find out what the source is.



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