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Re: Overinterpretation of DFSG? QR code for receiving donation is non-free???

On Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 4:32 PM Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> wrote:
> I do understand the desire to have the URL in a form that's easily
> searchable, but I don't think people are thinking through the implications
> of saying we're not allowed to distribute sources even in formats that are
> round-trip convertable to editable formats, but have to ensure every
> artifact is in a form that can be *directly* edited.  The implications for
> the archive would be massive busywork that would have no significant
> impact on software freedom.

I think this goes back to the epic "Editorial amendments" GR which,
among other things, applied DFSG beyond code to other things like
image files [1]. Over 15 years later, it's still really hard to figure
out how to apply the aspirational guideline to things that are not
code. The burden of compliance with various interpretations is very
inconsistently imposed on Debian contributors.

Let's say I take a photo of myself to include in an app so that users
can appreciate what I look like. What is the "preferred form of
modification"? If it's 15 years later and I no longer look the same,
would I edit the photo with free software to make it look like me or
would I just take another photo?

I believe that the overwhelmingly majority of people who would want to
update or change a QR code image would create a whole new image from
scratch with one of many QR code generators (some are open source;
some aren't) instead of trying to use an app like the GNU Image
Manipulation Program (or some specialized decoder/recoder app) to try
to tweak the file.

Therefore, in my opinion, the preferred form of modification for a QR
code is whatever you want. There should not be any requirement that
you have to use a DFSG-compatible generator to create the image. Just
like there is no requirement that my camera run DFSG-compatible
software or that I only use DFSG-compatible editors or software or
websites whenever I contribute to Debian.

[1] https://www.debian.org/vote/2004/vote_003

Jeremy Bicha

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