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Re: GPL on rendered images

Glenn Maynard wrote:
A more likely scenario: you write a program in Pascal, and give it
to me.  Pascal is a useless language, so I programmatically convert
it to C (a fairly simple task), and then spend a few weeks improving
the program in C.  The Pascal code may be useful for reference, but
it is no longer the source to the resulting work, neither by my
instinctive opinion of "source" nor by the "preferred form for
modification" metric.  I don't believe I would be in violation of the
GPL to distribute the resulting binaries with only the C code, and not
the Pascal code.  I believe this is a strength of this definition of
"source", not a weakness.

As I understand it, programmatically converting the Pascal code to C does not introduce any creative element. So as far as copyright is concerned, the C code is the exact same work as the Pascal code. (Just as the object or executable code is the same Original Work)

You own the copyright of modifications (assuming they are a creative work), that is: in the elements of the derived work that you created, as well as in the creative combination of your works with that of the Original Work.

In order to distribute the derivative work, you must distribute under the terms of the GPL. That means that you must include (or offer) the "preferred form for modification".

The preferred form for the Original work is Pascal. The preferred form for the new (combined/derived) work is C. I think you would need to distribute both to comply with the GPL.

Another way to look at it is:
The Original Work has its "preferred form" set in the GPL at license time by the Original Author as Pascal code. Since you can't change the license, you can't distribute the Original Work (as embodied in parts of derivative works) without that form.


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