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

On Sat, 24 Apr 2010 11:47:32 +0100 Anthony W. Youngman wrote:

> In message <[🔎] 878w8ij1hm.fsf@benfinney.id.au>, Ben Finney 
> <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes
> Joining in late ...

Welcome to the discussion, anyway!   :-)

> >If I understand Francesco right, he is pointing out that the work most
> >likely to be distributed is the very first one mentioned above: the
> >digitally-encoded audio. That work can be modified by editing the
> >digital audio data in an appropriate program, which thus creates a
> >derived work of the existing digital audio.
> The GPL says "*preferred* form for modification". Part of the problem is 
> clearly that the above is NOT the preferred form.

Why not?
I think it can be, in many cases.
In other cases, some other form will be preferred.

Form for making modifications to the work, I mean.
Not for re-creating the work from scratch.

> >
> >Re-creating the audio recording from scratch, as Rudolf describes, would
> >be a new copyright work, and I agree that it's disingenuous to describe
> >this as “editing”. It would be a derived work of the copyrighted words,
> >musical arrangement, etc.; but it is less clear what its copyright
> >relationship to the previous digital audio data would be.
> THIS is the "preferred form".

Wait a second: I agree that re-creating the work from scratch in a
different way *may* be the preferred method to obtain a different
work, whenever making modifications to the original work is suboptimal
or impractical.

But I disagree that this procedure can be called "making modifications
to the work".
If making modifications to the work is impractical and another process
is preferred, well, that other process is clearly something *different*
from "making modifications to the work"!

> This is crux of this problem - there ISN'T 
> a "preferred form for modification".

I respectfully disagree: modification may be suboptimal in some cases,
but, *if* and *when* you want to actually make modifications to the
work, you will choose among a number of different forms, one of which
will be the "preferred form for making modifications to the work".

 Walter - Would you like to have an apple, a pear, or an orange?
 Carl - I would prefer having a chocolate cake!
 Walter - You can have the chocolate cake, as well, but which fruit
          would you prefer among apples, pears, and oranges?
 Carl - An apple, please.

The fact the Carl prefers cakes over fruits does *not* mean that there
is *no* fruit which he prefers (over other fruits)...

> That was the point further back about a program having multiple authors 
> yet still being a coherent work. You can't necessarily do that with art.

I am not convinced that you cannot do that with art.

There are many examples of works of art with multiple authors.
The Iliad and the Odyssey come to mind, for instance (as you probably
know, many modern scholars believe that Homer never existed as a single
historical poet: poems attributed to him are believed to be the result
of the assembling and successive modifying of several stories that were
at first transmitted orally).

Anyway, I don't think this point is relevant for our discussion.

> So what do you do here? If the original author's "preferred form of 
> modification" is "throw it away and start again", we're in the realms of 
> "the original author can distribute without source, and nobody else can 
> distribute", and we're effectively saying "the GPL is useless for 
> artists", which I think is the whole point of this discussion! :-)

Again, "throw it away and start again" is not a form of the work
suitable for making modification to the work itself.
It's not even a form of the work!
It's a procedure for obtaining a different work, without making
modifications to the original work.

The definition of source code talks about forms for making
modifications to the work, not about methods to obtain different works.

I disagree with your reasoning, since it leads to conclusions that, I
believe, are clearly incorrect.
Assume, for example, that I write a C++ program and that I release it
under the terms of the GPL. Also assume that I am so unsatisfied with
the version I released that I decide it's better to throw it away and
rewrite it from scratch, rather than fixing bugs here and there.
What is the source for the poorly written version of the program?
Would you claim that there's no source, just because the author says
it's a mess?
I believe that the source for the poorly written program is its C++
code, which is the preferred form for making modifications to it.
Even though the author prefers to do something else, rather than
modifying the poorly written version.

I hope I clarified my personal opinion on the matter.

 Need some pdebuild hook scripts?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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