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Re: Defining 'preferred form for making modifications'

Mark Rafn <dagon@dagon.net> writes:

> 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?

I didn't say that.  What I said was that, in my opinion, there is
something wrong with including it as part of GPL'd software: at least,
in the case where you had anything at all to do with the destruction
of the psd.

The GPL contains no "I couldn't get ahold of the source" exception,
and I see no reason it should.

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

Indeed, and perhaps I would be induced to change my mind, but only by
arguments, not by repeating "the consequences would be absurd!".

> 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"?

Again, again, again, I'm not interested here in the definition of
"free" or "proprietary"; just with the copyleft.  In the context of
the copyleft, if you destroy the source, the object code does not
somehow mutate into source, and as a result the object code simply
cannot be part of a copylefted program.  I can see no good reason for
distinguishing C code from .xcf files here.

> > 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.

Why is this bizarre?  It seems perfectly reasonable to me.  Nothing in
the GPL says that source must be somehow automatically translated into

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