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Re: Bug#158529: vcg does not have a usable license

On Wed, Aug 28, 2002 at 01:35:01PM +0300, Richard Braakman wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 27, 2002 at 06:19:19PM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
> > > Should this be done in the debian diff, or a new orig.tar.gz?

> > You would have to make a new orig.tar.gz.  Debian is not allowed to
> > distribute the "original" sources at all, since they aren't in the
> > preferred form for modification.

> Hmm, interesting.  I was about to argue against this, but a careful
> reading of the GPL shows that you are right.  Permission to distribute
> the "original" sources would have to come from GPL section 1 or 2
> (and 2 ends up referring back to 1), which only gives permission to
> distribute "copies of the Program's source code".

> This affects more than just obfuscators.  For example, if a GPL'd
> program includes Yacc sources, then I don't think the C files generated
> by Yacc are distributable at all.  Also, it does seem to make the GPL
> unusable for documentation, unless you can define PDF as "object code".
> I think this is a bug in the GPL, which I hope will be addressed in the
> next version.  It could be as easy as changing section 1 to say
> "copies of the Program".

The C files are derived works of the yacc sources, are they not?  The GPL
is already quite clear about permitting redistribution of derived works.
The "preferred form for modification" clause only refers to things that
you MUST distribute under certain circumstances, it places no limitations
on what else you MAY distribute.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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