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Re: Distribution of media content together with GPLv2 code in one package?

Rudolf Polzer <divVerent@alientrap.org> writes:

> I am pretty confident that nobody will dare to sue in that "grey area"
> of the GPL.
> However, my goal is to get the game in _Debian_ and other Linux
> distributions.

In which case, it's the responsibility of the Debian project to ensure
that due caution is observed, to meet the Debian social contract and to
avoid unnecessary risk of such litigation against any Debian recipient.

> And for that it is required to adhere to DFSG and similar standards,

Thank you for treating this topic seriously.

> and interpretation of these regarding non-code seems to be quite open.

Not really. As described in the social contract, everything in Debian
must be free as guided by the DFSG. Whether it's code or not is
irrelevant to that requirement.

> Basically, as far as I understood it, for inclusion in Debian, two
> conditions are required:

> - DFSG


> - Debian must be under the impression that the package is properly
> licensed

Specifically, the ftpmasters of the Debian project must be satisfied to
that effect. Their time is scarce, which is why this discussion forum
exists to explore potential issues before it gets to the point of
needing their attention.

> So basically, my question is:
> Would Debian accept a game into "main" that, itself, is released under
> the GPL, and contains music tracks for which only a high-quality
> OggVorbis file and the project file in the music notation application
> is provided, even if the software used to create the music is
> commercial software, or the music even might use commercially provided
> (or CC-BY) samples, assuming these commercial software or sample files
> do not restrict the licensing of the resulting file?

This forum can't give such definitive answers, but the consensus advice
is that “preferred form of the work for making modifications to it” is a
good operating definition for “source form of the work”.

Your professed ideas about what constitutes “modification” of a software
work notwithstanding, I think it's pretty clear that a high-quality
software recording of an analogue audio performance is the preferred
form for making modifications to that software work.

> the opinions on this seem to vary a lot even inside the Debian project

Again, this forum is for discussion and exploration of issues, not
pronouncements. It is a resource for helping people understand what will
likely pass muster for legal inclusion in Debian, but unless someone
explicitly says they're speaking on behalf of the ftpmasters, you should
assume they're not.

 \     “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” —Pablo |
  `\                                                           Picasso |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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