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Re: What is source ?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: What is source ?
Date: Sun, 06 Aug 2006 16:14:00 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

"Vincent Rivière" <> writes:

> My big question :
> What is source code ?

Read the GPL, section 3.

    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.
    However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need
    not include anything that is normally distributed (in either
    source or binary form) with the major components (compiler,
    kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable
    runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.

> The GPL states that if I distribute my projet under GPL, I must
> distribute the sources, too.

The GPL states no such thing.  If you distribute GPLed code from
somebody else, you have to heed the conditions of the GPL for the
complete product.  But if you are the sole copyright holder, the GPL's
obligations are for redistributors, not yourself.

> Can I generate a Makefile using and automake, then only
> distribute Makefile, claiming that it is the source ?

The source code is the preferred form for modification.  If you use
some tools just for bootstrapping which you would not continue to use
yourself (because you already started editing them afterwards, for
example), you can consider them as not being part of the source.

> Similar question with images. My program displays a PNG image in its
> about box. It is a very complex image, I made it with Photoshop and
> a lot of layers. Must I distribute the original PSD image in my
> source package, or will the PNG image be sufficient ?

We are talking about the preferred form for modification.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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