Re: Intent to package: vcg
[please cc me on replies as I'm not subscribed to debian-legal]
Jules Bean <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> Note that the GPL defines source code in such a way that obfuscated source
> code does not qualify as source code. So, by the GPL's rules, this is not
> being provided with source, which probably makes in undistributable,
> since we cannot satisfy the GPL on it by including source code or an offer
> to provide such.
Hmm, on second thought: you may be right. I certainly won't
upload vcg until this matter is resolved.
> Perhaps you would like to email the author and try to persuade not to
> adopt this strategy?
That's what I sent to Georg Sander <email@example.com>:
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the last mail you got from me was an intent to package vcg for
the Debian distribution .
We have strict guidelines which software should be considered
free and which not. Normally, the GPL qualifies for free
software. But vcg has some uglified routines which certainly are
not compatible with the Debian free software guidelines  (if
not in letter then certainly in spirit).
Besides all other advantages of the GPL one could no longer say
"is safe to rely on any software in Debian's main distribution,
because even if the author dies or his computer blows up and
he's got no backup, we can always hire any competent programmer
ourselves to fix bugs, because the source is available". And we
(the Debian developers) don't want this to happen.
Another problem is with the GPL itself. The GPL defines source
code in such a way that obfuscated source code does not qualify
as source code. This may be okay for the copyright holder but
not for others who would love the distribute your code (note:
I'm not a lawyer).
I would really love the include vcg into the Debian
distribution, but not in its current state. Could you think once
more about these "ugly" parts of vcg?
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