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Re: Debian-approved creative/content license?

"Joe Smith" <unknown_kev_cat@hotmail.com> writes:

> It seems to me that the "preferred form of modification" seems to
> depend on the desired modification.

Yes. Though I keep advocating the GPL's definition of "source", I
recognise the ambiguity of "preferred" in that definition.

> Since this is Debian, I will use the example of Toy Story.
> ...
> Thinking about only the video portion, what would we call source?

Whatever form is preferred for making modifications to the work.

> I can see three answers to this:
> 1. The model files, lighting, and animation information. This can be
> used to regenerate the movie.
> 2. The original raw frames of the rendered video.
> 3. The compressed final video stream.

The closer we get to the original digital information, the less lossy
the representation, so that should be preferentially selected; but for
the reasons you give, I think each of these forms would reasonably
satisfy a need for "preferred form for making modifications".

> That to me indicates that for many types of modification [the
> original digital model representation] would not be the preferred
> form.

So long as the software tools to render it are either freely available
elsewhere or included in the source, the work can at least be ported
to build on other hardware if necessary. I think this would be free.

> Now lets look at the raw frames. They took up approximately 300 MB
> of storage each, for a total of 144000 frames. That yields a total
> of around 43.2 terabytes. I think we can rule this out as the
> preferred form for the vast majority of modifications.

I don't think this would present an issue for "preferred form of the
work for making modifications to it". It would limit the set of people
who *choose* to acquire such a large work.

> So how about the compressed video stream? ...

Again, some people would prefer this, others would not.

> So which one(s) should be considered source?

I think the issues of different "preferred form" software formats for
a video work is qualitatively similar to the issues of different
languages for a program. The main difference is that some of these
forms are lossy representations of an upstream form, whereas
Turing-complete programming languages could conceivably each be
translated to any other.

 \        "The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more |
  `\     expected."  -- Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Ed., 12-Jun-1972 |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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