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Re: "Preferred form for making modifications"

From: Bernd Jendrissek
Subject: Re: "Preferred form for making modifications"
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 08:47:58 +0000 (UTC)
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In article <> Rui
Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
>Maybe, but since there's no source code, there's little value in using
>the GPL, and if it was used, a distributor could find himself in
>infringement since he could not comply with the source related parts.

That's very interesting.  What exactly does "source" or "preferred form
for making modifications" mean in this context?  Is it whatever the
copyright holder decrees it to be (the binary itself in this case), or
is there some absolute standard for what "source" is, related to the
form in which the program was *originally* written?

GPLv2 Section 3 states:
>The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
>making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source
>code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
>associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control
>compilation and installation of the executable.

So... is "preferred form" referred to the *original* author, or to the
immediately upstream provider?  Thinking of binary-only redistribution
as similar to reimplementation in INTERCAL seems to work for me: you'd
be redistributing a *derived* work, and you only need to provide the
source code for the *derived* work, not the original.  Yes?  No?  Three
bags full?
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