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Re: various opinions on Debian vs the GFDL

On Thu, May 08, 2003 at 09:24:21AM +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:

Please respect Debian list policy and my Mail-Followup-To header, and
don't Cc me.

> > An XML score satisfies all these requirements as a way of
> > representing music.
> We're not talking about music; we're talking about *sound
> recordings*. 

Actually, we're just talking about embedding sound in a GNU FDL document.
Music, in case you hadn't noticed, is one form sound takes.

> All the XML scores in the world will not allow me to
> recreate a particular sound recording (made with real live musicians,
> in the case it contains music). Therefore, an XML score is not
> source.

All the C code in the world won't let you recreate the last build I did
either, unless I also give you the compiler I used. Big deal.

> > Samples and recordings are more difficult, mainly because the concept of
> > "revision" doesn't really exist, per se. One possibility is just to do
> > a hex dump -- it's as straightforwardly editable with a hex editor as
> > _anything_ is, after all
> Any opaque format is straightforwardly editable with a hex editor.

Well, no, it's not. The question is what changes do you want to make. If
you want to change the location of two icons in a program, I don't
think you're going to be able to do that if I give you a hexdump of an
ELF executable. OTOH, I don't think there are any "revisions" you can
make to any sound file that you can't also make with a text editor to
a suitable text dump of a WAV file.

> > Simply being able to cut up the sound and insert your own pre-recorded sound
> > effects is probably enough to satisfy that requirement actually
> Says who? So you call it free even if you can't remove something?

Seems pretty easy to me to delete a tag and its contents form an XML file.

> > 	* you can revise it with a text editor easily enough
> Only for certain kinds of changes. That's not enough.

Really? How do you remove all the buffer overflows from mozilla with
a text editor? A lot of analysis, study, and tedious editing, no? Same
thing with most of the edits you want to do to a sound file. Some things
are easy, some things aren't. Big deal.

> > 	  to be "is Anthony My name" is easy, eg;
> Not without losing any semblance of sensible prosody.

Again, so what? The sorts of revisions you can do with sound are
fundamentally limited; that you can't easily do everything conceivable
means nothing at all.

> > 	* the format's been designed to make it as easy as possible to modify,
> > 	  not arranged to thward anything
> "As easy as possible" is still not easy enough to quialify as "possible".

That's completely irrelevant too: the question that's answering is whether
the formats specifically designed to thwart modifications. It's not.

> > The questions at hand here are can you license sound stuff under the
> > GNU FDL, and, if not, can the GNU FDL possible be DFSG-free. I think
> > the answer to the first question is yes, and, even ignoring that, I'm
> > not really convinced the answer to the second is no.
> If it is not possible to license sound under GFDL (which I believe it
> is not), then the GFDL says that I must not make a modification of
> the work that consists of reading it aloud on a sound recording. I
> think that's quite easily non-free.

That's wrong too: that would merely be an opaque copy which is entirely
allowable, as long as you distribute a transparent copy as well.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

  ``Dear Anthony Towns: [...] Congratulations -- 
        you are now certified as a Red Hat Certified Engineer!''

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