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Re: Is this circumvention of the GPL?

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Is this circumvention of the GPL?
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 10:36:54 -0700 (MST)

    > 2. Let's say that I write a program and release > it
    under GPL. However, the program is written in > an
    extremely idiosyncratic style so as not to be >
    understandable to anyone but its author. Is it 
    > legal?

If that is the form in which the developer edits it, that is the real
source code.  Releasing it under the GPL is legitimate.

However, if they released an obfuscated form of the source which is
not the form in which the developers edit the program, then that is
not the source code as defined by the GPL.  If the real source code
was not released, then the program was never properly released under
the GPL, and legally speaking you can't redistribute it at all.  It is
as if they said, "You can redistribute this program provided that
black is white."

    That is what was done by the VCG project by
    Mr Sander. 
    The GCC has routines for outputing into VCG in the
    compiler itself, but it's source code is not open! 

I cannot clearly understand the facts from this description.  I can
only point out that whether the source is "open" is not a relevant
question to the GPL.

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