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Re: Let's stop feeding the NVidia cuckoo

Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> wrote:

> What sorts of issues with JPEGs? We should have available and
> distribute the prefered form for modification for them as well.  That
> is, whatever form upstream actually uses when upstream wants to modify
> the JPEG. In some cases, this will just be a JPEG. In others, it will
> be an XCF, SVG or something else entirely.

If we actually upheld this standard at present, it would result in us
removing a large number of packages from Debian. However, even ignoring
that, I think your definition leads to some strangeness. It suggests
that a JPEG is DFSG-free in and of itself in some cases, but that the
existence of a lossless representation of that picture renders the JPEG
non-free unless it's distributed with that lossless representation. If I
delete the only copy of the lossless picture, is the JPEG now source?

If a JPEG can be considered "free enough" under some circumstances, I'm
confused as to why it's not always good enough.

> While there may be a better definition of source code than the
> "prefered form for modification," I haven't seen it yet.

I haven't tried to formulate a precise definition yet, but I think that
the GPL's definition is stricter than we should require in general. We
don't have the DFSG because they provide philosophical freedoms - we
have the DFSG because they allow people to engage in practical
activities. If a piece of software allows someone to assert their
freedom to perform those acts without onerous restrictions, then it
ought to be free from a DFSG standpoint.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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