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Re: photo licenses

On Thu, 9 Nov 2006 09:53:49 +0200 Yasen Pramatarov wrote:

> ____ Wed, 8 Nov 2006 22:26:42 +0100 Francesco Poli ____________:
> > The issue here is making available all the necessary data for
> > modifying the work in an optimal way: doing otherwise puts the
> > original author in an unfair position of advantage with respect to
> > the recipient(s), when the need (or will) to make modifications
> > arises.
>  IMO just making available the images is enough. Because all you need
> for the image manipulation is... well just the image.

This can be true for many cases: whenever the image itself is the
preferred form for modifications.
For many other cases it's false: think about a PNG image generated from
an SVG image (with Inkscape or Sodipodi, say).  In most cases the
preferred form for making modifications to that PNG image is in SVG
format (so that you have all the vector objects, you can set opacities
as you like, you can uncover hidden parts of the shapes, and so

These case-by-case differences in determining the source form should be
no surprise, since they happen for programs, as well.
For a binary executable compiled from C code, the source is in C *in
most cases*.
But sometimes the C code is automatically generated from a grammar
description (bison comes to mind): in that case, the preferred form is
probably the grammar description.
For a Python script, the source is often the script itself.  But not
necessarily: it could be generated from something else...

>  If we're looking for the "ultimate" preferred form, then "the
>  unscaled
> JPEG that went out of the digital camera" will never be enough - they
> are converted and compressed in camera from the sensor's RAW-data. The
> specific camera may not support saving RAW-files, but out there are
> many models that support RAWs. Does that mean that for each image
> there should be RAW-file?

It's not a matter of finding an "ultimate" form.
It's a simple practical matter: if someone modifies a work in some form
(because he/she prefers to do so), but only distributes another form
(which is generated from the other one), then, well, it's *not* Free

Hence sometimes the source for a digital photo could be a raw
uncompressed image.
Some other times, the source could be the JPEG created by the digital
Or even a preprocessed JPEG.
It depends on what you (as modifier of the work) prefer: if you retain
the form that you consider preferred, and keep it secret, then, well,
you are playing an unfair game that hurts the community.

I think it should be crystal clear: I cannot think of other ways of
explaining it better...

>  If an image is usable in the compressed form, meaning the size is
> large enough and the compression is small enough, there are many ways
> of modifying it.

If this form has these advantages over the other possible forms, it
could well be the preferred form for modifications.
Please don't be afraid that agreeing on the "preferred form" definition
of source means that authors will always be asked to distribute 160
Gbyte of raw uncompressed data!  Practical considerations can well shift
the preferences toward more compressed formats!  If a form is so
unpractical (for instance because files in that form are usually
really *huge*), then it probably won't be preferred: the original author
will probably be the first to get rid of it, thus showing that it's not
his/her preferred form for modifications...

> Graphic designers do it all the time.

Because they *prefer* doing it?  ;-)

> While some data
> is being lost in the manipulation process, it doesn't mean the licence
> should require the largest available jpeg/raw to be distributed.

It does *not*!
The GNU GPL requires the *preferred* form, not the *largest* one!

> Even is it's just a compressed jpeg that came out of the camera,
> sometimes (most of the times:) it's a good idea to postprocess it a
> little before using it.

Because those who are going to further modify it *prefer* postprocessing
it a little before modifying it?   ;-)
Then it seems the postprocessed image is the source!

>  P.S.: IANAL, but I'm an amateur photographer so I know a bit about
> raw/jpegs and their form for modifications.

IANAL either, and I'm an amateur (digital) photographer as well.

But it is also tradition that times *must* and always
do change, my friend.   -- from _Coming to America_
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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