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Re: Debian-approved creative/content license?

On Wed, 28 Mar 2007 01:18:32 +0800 Ying-Chun Liu (PaulLiu) wrote:

> Michelle Konzack wrote:
> > I personaly consider "mp3/mp4" and "ogg" (vorbis, theora, ...) NOT
> > as "the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it".
> > 
> > I asume, that there are nore then one person on the list aggree with
> > me.

I do not agree.
In some cases an OGG file may be the preferred form for making
modifications to a work (and hence, by definition, its source form).
In other cases, it won't.

There's no general rule that states which formats are source and which
ones are not.  It's not a matter of formats: it's a case-by-case choice.

> > 
> > So whats the prefered form of source.

It depends.  I cannot answer *in general*.

> > 
> > For "mp3" and "ogg-vorbis" it can be "wav", "flac" or "shn" but what
> > about videos?
> Lossless and lossy compression format don't mean anything on preferred
> form for modification. Some recorders do record mp3/ogg directly. And
> some audio editors do edit mp3/ogg directly.

Exactly, and in some cases an author/maintainer *may* prefer to modify a
lossy-compressed form directly.
In some other cases, he/she *may* prefer working on uncompressed data
and recompress afterward...

> So, for creative works,

Be careful: every copyrighted work is a creative work (just because,
roughly speaking, copyright covers the expressions of creativity).
Hence programs are creative works, as well, while you seem to think

> the source is hard to be defined by format.
> Not like programs, we can easily know what is machine code and what is
> high level language code in most situations.

Source code for programs is not always so easily determined as you
argue: for instance, imagine a programmer who modifies Perl code, but
strips out *all the comments* before distributing the code.
The commented Perl code is clearly his/her preferred form for
modifications, and hence source code; what gets distributed is instead
obfuscated code, which is *not* source.
And we could never really know, if he/she publicly claims to modify the
uncommented code, while he/she instead modifies the commented code and
keeps it secret...

In some cases, a programmer may modify machine code by hand.
Then, machine code is source code for that work.
Of course, more often, machine code is compiled from some higher level

> We can only ask the
> author of the creative works to release their work honestly because in
> most situation we can't distinguish the source and binary if the
> author is lying.

That is true for programs too.
Oh well, programs are creative works, hence you already acknowledged
this...  ;-)

> If the last format he has is wav, then he should
> release wav. If the last format he has is mp3, then mp3.

I'm not sure what you mean by "last format".
The point is the preferred form for modifications, and it can be a WAV
file or an MP3, or something else, depending on the work we are talking
As I stated, there's no general rule.

> To require the author to use some listed formats for image source or
> audio source is impracticable.

Indeed!  Because what is source for a work, can be a compiled form for
another one, and so forth...

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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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