[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Bug#383481: Must source code be easy to understand to fall under DFSG?

On Tue, Oct 31, 2006 at 05:00:15PM +0100, Ola Lundqvist wrote:

(Anyone on debian-legal: please note and maintain the Cc:s)

> As you say you need the prefered form of _modification_, which means
> that if we change things, we are not allowed to obfuscate it. I can not
> see anything that enfoce the original author to actually do such
> obfuscation.

No, the preferred form *for* modification. 

> The only requirement on the original author (as I can determine) is that
> you get source code for it, not that it is in preferred form for making
> modification.

That's perfectly acceptable. Upstream can do whatever they want. 
However, if upstream do not provide the preferred form for modification 
(ie, the unobfuscated version), Debian can not distribute it under the 
terms of the GPL.

That's not an issue in this case, since X is not a GPLed application. 
Debian can distribute the obfuscated code entirely legally, without 
violating any licenses. The issue is whether "source" in the DFSG refers 
to the GPL's definition ("the preferred form for modification") or not. 
An alternative interpretation could be "a form amenable to modification 
by people sufficiently familiar with the work".

If people define source as "the preferred form for modifications" in all 
cases, then there's no place for deliberately obfuscated code in Debian. 
There's also arguably no place for works that are only available 
as JPEGs, any flattened image formats, mp3s, PDFs and so on. Right now 
there doesn't seem to be a strong opinion in the project about that, but 
I expect it's a discussion that needs to be had.

(For anyone doubting that the nvidia code is deliberately obfuscated - 
ought to make it pretty clear)
Matthew Garrett | mjg59@srcf.ucam.org

Reply to: