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Re: Defining 'preferred form for making modifications'

> Mark Rafn <dagon@dagon.net> writes:
> > There are a number of icons and images in
> > products whose original creator preferred to edit in photoshop, with crazy
> > psd files that contain layering, gamma, and other useful information.  I
> > made further modifications to the resulting GIF file.  My preferred form
> > is gif, hers is psd.  I don't even have the psd anymore.

On Wed, 18 Jun 2003, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> The .psd is the source.  Some people prefer to hack on binary code
> too, but this is really the same case as that one, except that more
> people hack .gif than binary code.

So I cannot release the GIF freely, given that the PSD no longer exists?

> But the fact that there are people who prefer to hack binary code
> (indeed, the fact that it's sometimes useful and valuable) doesn't at
> all mean that the binary code is therefore "source" in the context of
> the copyleft.

> > Can my gif file ever be free?  Can her psd file be free if it's in an 
> > undocumented format which is only editable in a proprietary tool?
> Once again, I'm only talking about GPL concerns.  It's clear to me
> that she cannot add the gif to a GPL'd program and refuse to
> distribute the .psd file.  

Interesting.  I suspect we have some things currently in debian that 
violate the GPL if this is the common consensus.

Additionally, consider that the work was for hire, so I'm the copyright
holder, and I didn't keep the psd.  Is this gif file forever proprietary
because I cannot provide "source"?

> Otherwise, consider the disaster:
> Someone creates a programmatic font, making use of GPL'd code.  But
> they want to keep their program seekrit.  So they compile font images,
> and then tweak a few bits on the bitmaps, claiming now that the
> bitmaps are the preferred form for modifications, and then refuse to
> distribute the program.  This cannot be permitted!

Is intent the deciding factor here?  Intentional obfuscation is evil and
should be disallowed.  Loss of information due to actual edits IMO should 
be allowed.

> So we must judge the bitmaps alone to *not* meet the source code
> requirement (whether or not they have in fact been modified from what
> the source first produced), and this must be true not just for the
> person who did the tweaking, but for everyone who got the bitmaps from
> them.

In the case of actual edits, though (I take bitmaps produced 
algorithmically and make significant bitmap updates), this leads to the 
strange requirement to provide some bizarre "source" files that don't 
produce anything near what you're distributing.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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