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Re: Lost sources

Francesco Poli <invernomuto@paranoici.org> writes:

> On Mon, 21 Mar 2011 08:12:11 -0700 (PDT) Ken Arromdee wrote:
> > Consider the case where someone edits an audiovisual work using
> > uncompressed video and audio files, then deletes them when he's done
> > because they take up too much space. Plenty of sane people will do
> > this.
> In this case, by deleting the uncompressed form, they clearly show
> that they prefer to keep the compressed form for future modifications,
> rather than the uncompressed form.

That's not so clear. Rather, I would interpret that situation as being
that the merson who made the modifications isn't interested in making
further modifications (or values making further modifications less than
reclaiming the storage space).

By that interpretation, they might answer a question of “what is the
preferred form of the work for making modifications?” with “I prefer not
to make any more modifications to this work”.

In other words, by removing the uncompressed form, it's not clear that
they've expressed a preference for making further modifications with any
particular form.

> Hence, in this case, the actual source is the *compressed* form, being
> the preferred form for making further modifications.

Yes, recipients who wish to make further modifications would have little
choice but to do that. But the person who destroyed their uncompressed
form hasn't necessarily shown they've even thought about this use case.

> However, we also have to consider this: in some cases, when the
> uncompressed form is hundreds of times larger than the compressed
> form, the former may be really unpractical to handle. In those cases,
> maybe we prefer to use some compressed form to make further
> modifications, just for practical reasons.

That's a departure from what was concluded elsewhere in the thread: that
free software entails that every recipient should have equal access to
the work for making modifications.

If recipients have access only to a lossy-compressed form, but one party
still has access to the uncompressed form, surely that's not equal
access and hence isn't satisfying the spirit of free software.

> Well: in those cases, the preferred form for making further
> modifications is that *compressed* form, which is consequently the
> actual source!

I disagree. The preferred form is the uncompressed form, and simply
isn't available to recipients in that case (and hence the recipients
don't have the freedoms required).

 \       “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything |
  `\                that's even remotely true!” —Homer, _The Simpsons_ |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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