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Re: GPL - "specifying" the preferred form for modification

Glenn Maynard wrote:
> The GPL very deliberately does not specify
> the preferred form for modification, and authors shouldn't do so (at
> least not in a legally-binding way or an attempt to "interpret" the GPL).
Right.  I think there is no harm in saying "My preferred form for modification 
is the texinfo source", as long as it is *not* a legally-binding change.  We 
have suggested such things to make things clearer for people who are 
uncomfortable and fearful about the use of the phrase "source code" for 
documentation, so as indicate that it is a meaningful phrase.  We do not want 
such statements to act as a restriction.

> Note, also, that the GPL says "preferred form for modification", not
> "the form for modification preferred by the original author".
Indeed.  Specifying the form the original author preferred should not act as a 
restriction, then, right?

> This has come up several times, so I'm CCing licensing@fsf to get their
> take on this.  FSF folks: please ignore the documentation aspect above;
> I'm interested in the general problem of people "specifying" the preferred
> form for modification, which I believe is tantamount to placing an 
> restriction beyond the GPL.  Let me know if I'm way off base.
Again, when I've suggested this, I have suggested such a "specification" 
merely as a hint for people who are confused by the use of the phrase "source 
code" for documentation, *not* as a restriction.  I suspect the same is true 
of other debian-legal regulars who have suggested this sort of 

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