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Re: transformations of "source code"

On Thu, Mar 06, 2003 at 11:23:47AM -0500, Jeremy Hankins wrote:
> This doesn't address proprietary or otherwise difficult but not
> impossible to reverse formats.

I considered that but I'm not sure how much of a threat it really is.

There's no way to keep the sourced locked into an obfuscated format
under my proposal; the first person to crack it open is free to
redistribute it in obfuscated form.  This is directly analogous, I
think, to the reason the GNU GPL doesn't have a clause forbidding
selling a work so licensed for $1 million.  It's not necessary --
either no one will buy it, and the software might as well not exist,
or anyone willing to pay the price can immediately undercut you (and
someone can undercut him, and so forth), causing a rapid price
decline down to something approximating a nominal fee.

> Perhaps you could expand the idea of a "key" to include anything
> necessary to reverse the process, and say that if the recipient can't
> reasonably be expected to have the key (or whatever word you want to
> use) it must be provided.

This, I fear, would soon result in anybody who just wanted to distribute
pre-compiled binaries into providing an entire Linux distribution.
After all, if they have to distribute tar and gzip beside the source
tarball, why not a toolchain as well?  How about a text editor for
actually making modifications to the preferred form?

G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |           //     // //  /     /
branden@debian.org                 |           EI 'AANIIGOO 'AHOOT'E
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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