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

"Anthony W. Youngman" <debian@thewolery.demon.co.uk> writes:

> The GPL says "*preferred* form for modification". Part of the problem
> is clearly that [the digital audio stream] is NOT the preferred form.

The definition taken from the GPL is “preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it”. To my mind, this debate is largely about
what is “the work”.

> >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.
> [re-creating the audio recording from scratch] is the "preferred
> form". This is crux of this problem - there ISN'T a "preferred form
> for modification".

When one considers that “the work” under consideration is the existing
digital audio stream, then “the preferred form of the work for making
modifications to it” is the digital stream itself.

To take a *different* set of works — the work consisting of the script,
the work consisting of the musical arrangement, the work consisting of
the mixer timings, etc. — and create a *new* digital audio stream from
those, is not to “make modifications to the work”; it is to create a new
work, not derived from the previous digital audio stream.

Again, though, this is attempting to apply reason and logic to a field
(copyright law) that we should all be aware is not very amenable to
that. We're beyond the point, I believe, where abstract argument about
this use case is going to help very much. At some point the intent of
the copyright holder will weigh more than these hair-splitting
definitional differences in the judge's mind when making a decision.

 \         “We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!” |
  `\    —Vroomfondel, _The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy_, Douglas |
_o__)                                                            Adams |
Ben Finney

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