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Re: PHPNuke license

On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 12:16:23PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 04:26:17PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 04:31:17PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > Can you remind me of the advantages of NOT interpreting as "object form"
> > > as "any form other than the preferred form for modification"?

> > For the detailed description, see
> > http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200303/msg00131.html

> I've read it.

> > In a nutshell, I don't know of any reasonable person that would define
> > "object code" as the output of tr a-z A-Z on a text file.

> Nice to meet you.  :)  That is, I'm perfectly willing to accept that as
> an example of "object code" if the only alternative is to call it
> "source code".

I think we need to keep in mind that the GPL does not (cannot) legislate
*what* the preferred form for modification is; therefore, the preferred
form does not exist in isolation, but is always tied to a person who *has
a preference*.  Although the GPL does not make it explicit who this
person is, I believe the only sane interpretation is that the preference
that matters is that of the party who has made the modifications now
being distributed.

As a result, the output of tr a-z A-Z may be either source code *or*
object code, *depending on the intent of the party making this change*.
If they're making this change because they have a mental condition (or
operating system condition) that allows them to only think in terms of
that part of the character set which is accessible to AOL users, the
result may very well be *their* preferred form for modification, in which
case it's source code.  If it's obfuscation, then it's not the preferred
form of modification, in which case it's either object code or something
else that the GPL doesn't permit distribution of.  I'm happy to be
generous and say that it's object code in this case.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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