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Re: Does the ISC license require to reproduce copyrights in debian/copyright ?

On Sat, 04 Jul 2009 09:45:39 +1000 Ben Finney wrote:

> Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> writes:
> > On Thu, 2 Jul 2009 09:19:29 +0900 Charles Plessy wrote:
> > 
> > [...]
> > > Does this concern binary distribution: is a compiled version a
> > > “copy”?
> > 
> > Why not? I personally think that a compiled copy of the software is
> > indeed a "copy".
> There's little to connect the two forms. If given a bunch of bytes and a
> bundle of source code, in many cases it would not be easy to say whether
> one was a compiled version of the other. That makes it rather unlike
> what most people would mean by “copy”.

Wait, wait: I think there's some sort of misunderstanding here between
you and me (I am sorry for not being always crystal clear: I am not an
English native speaker, hence I sometimes fail to choose the best
phrasing to express my thoughts...).

I *agree* with you that the compiled form of the software should *not*
be called "a copy" of the source form.

What I meant was: IMHO a copy of the compiled form of the software
*does* qualify as "a copy of the software" (in compiled form,
obviously, but that doesn't imply that it's not a copy of the same

Let's bear in mind that we are discussing the following ISC license

| Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any
| purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
| copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

What Charles was wondering was whether compiled versions are or are not
subject to the obligation to be shipped with copyright & permission

I think that a compiled version of the software is indeed a copy of the
software (just in a different form than the source code version).

Or, to be more explicit:

 (a) you get a compiled version of the software by processing the
source code of the software (with a compiler): what you get is the same
piece of software, just in a different form

 (b) when binary distribution is in place, a recipient gets a copy of
the compiled version: that copy qualifies as a copy of the software (in
compiled form).

Step (a) is a mechanical transformation that does not create a new
distinct work: from a copyright point of view, no derivative work is
created, just another form of the same work.  Step (b) creates a copy
of the compiled form of the work.

An example that should clarify further: many people get copies of
compiled versions of Microsoft Windows (from retailers, from hardware
manufacturers, and so forth): this is commonly described as "getting a
copy of Windows", even though the source form is jealously kept secret
by Microsoft.

I hope I clarified what I meant.

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