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Re: a minimal copyleft

On Mon, Aug 04, 2003 at 04:24:17PM -0400, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 04, 2003 at 08:49:07PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> > On Mon, Aug 04, 2003 at 12:21:59AM +0100, Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> > > * Though it's generally a good thing that the GPL requires me to
> > > provide source, this requirement gives less benefit in the case of
> > > text and can have some unpleasant consequences. For example, if
> > > someone makes a derived work from my GPL work and "typesets" it using
> > > Microsoft Word and I want to distribute a modified version of that
> > > derived work, then the other person can quite reasonably claim that
> > > the "preferred form of the work for making modifications to it" is a
> > > Microsoft Word document, which would be highly inconvenient for me.
> > 
> > This is why, when using the GPL for things which are not clearly
> > program source code, you must always specify what the preferred form
> > for modification is (append it to the license declaration, which
> > should be just below the copyright declaration).
> That defeats the purpose of the very careful wording in the GPL: "preferred
> form".

What purpose do you think that is?

I think it's so that the author can use it for things other than
source code.

You seem to think it's so that somebody can take my docbook/sgml
document and convert it into a Word document, and distribute that
alone. *That* would defeat the purpose of the GPL.

> The GPL doesn't say "the original author's preferred form for modifications",
> and that's not an error.

It doesn't need to; this is implicit in the nature of copyright
law. The license comes from the copyright holder, so it's their
preference which counts. If they don't state a preference, then it's
up to a court to determine what they could have reasonably meant.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
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