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Re: generated source files, GPL and DFSG

Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Jul 2005, Matthew Garrett wrote:
>> I'm not convinced that it's a widely accepted definition of "source
>> code".
> As of yet, no one has put forward a better definition of source code.
> Until that time, the "prefered form for modification" seems to be the
> best definition of source code that we've got. [If you've got a better
> definition, by all means, propose it.]

"Anything that allows a form of practical modification consistent with
the functionality of the resulting work", or something along those
lines. Yes, it's horribly fuzzy, but it's a horribly fuzzy area.
"Preferred form of modification" doesn't always cut it - the author's
preferred form of modification may not match anyone else on the

>> Most people would regard the source for the nv driver as source
>> code, even though there's a version of it that would be easier to
>> modify.
> ITYM "I would"; it's not clear at all that "most people would regard
> [it] as source."

If you don't regard it as source, then you should file a bug requesting
that it be removed from main. Despite the moderately involved thread we
had on this in the past, nobody has done so yet.

>> The classes of modification that can be performed upon a binary are
>> highly limited.
> You can do anything you want to a binary. There are just things that
> are more difficult to do to binary files.

Feel free to insert the word "practically" there.
Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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