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Re: generated source files, GPL and DFSG

* Matthew Garrett:

> There's two main issues here.
> 1) Does everything in main have to include the preferred form of
> modification?
> I don't believe so, 

We had a GR that is usually interpreted in a manner which disagrees
with you.

Certainly we require that the DFSG apply to documentation.  As I've
stated repeatedly, nothing in that GR grants us permission to exempt
fonts, artwork or cryptographic certificates from the source code
requirements.  The certificates part might be somewhat drastic, but I
think that it's highly desirable to have source code for all the
technical documentation we ship, under reasonably permissive licenses,
so that we can update it as needed.  This obviously includes technical

Looking at the gsfonts bugs, there even is a completely *technical*
justification to have the source code equivalent for fonts.  Similar
things might happen with artwork whose vectorized (or non-flattened)
version we do not require.

> and it's trivial to demonstrate that this isn't the
> current situation (see the nv driver in the X.org source tree, for
> instance).

I think the last time the nv reference popped up, nobody could confirm
that the source code has been deliberately obfuscated.  It seems to be
the real thing, but there is not enough public documentation to make
any modifications which change the way the driver interacts with the

> The DFSG require the availability of source code, and it
> seems reasonable to believe that anything that can be reasonably
> modified falls into that catagory. The graphics are available in a form
> that can be modified with free tools (the .xpm files).

Modifiying them is like patching object code.  It can be done, but we
have chosen not do it that way.  We can choose differenly for artwork,
of course, but I'm not sure if it's desirable to do so.  Some
practical limits obviously exist, though, but they don't apply to
ray-traced images.

> 2) Does a GPLed work have to include the preferred form of modification?
> Probably, and this may include the source code for the graphics.
> However, this may also be affected by the copyright holder's
> interpretation of the preferred form of modification and whether the
> GPLed code is a derived work of the graphics or not. On the other hand,
> if we accept my opinion on point (1), even if we need to include the
> pov-ray models we are not required to build from them in order to
> satisfy the DFSG. 

I think it's not acceptable to yse pregenerated files to prevent
software from entering contrib.  (Look at all the Java programs, for
instance.)  If there's a povray dependency, the software cannot be
included in main.

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