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Re: scientific paper in package only in postscript form non-free?

On Wed, 16 Mar 2011 09:26:39 +0000 (GMT) MJ Ray wrote:

> Francesco Poli wrote: [...]
> > It's true that there's no clear definition of the term "source code"
> > in the DFSG text, but the most accepted definition of source in the
> > context of Free Software has been the one found in the GNU GPL, for
> > quite a long time.
> Are you sure it's the most accepted?  I didn't find numbers on it.

At least here on debian-legal, it seems to be the only commonly
accepted definition.
Any other (tentative) definition is vague at best...

> > [...]
> > > I feel it's a grey area, so if the PS files aren't too difficult to
> > > reconstruct, I'd still let them stay.
> > 
> > I instead think that the actual source code (= preferred form for
> > modifications) should be searched for.
> Sure, it should be - what happens if it no longer exists?  That seems
> quite possible for a years-old journal paper.

This seems to be a FAQ...

Well, if some form of that work no longer exists, it cannot be the
preferred form for making modifications to the work itself.

One thing is when the author/maintainer uses a form of the work to make
modifications (because he/she prefers that form), but does not make
this form available to others.
In this case, the actual source is being kept secret.

One completely different thing is when nobody has some form of the work
any longer. That form cannot be preferred for making modifications,
since it no longer exists.
In this case, the actual source is the preferred form for making
modifications, among the existing ones.

 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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