Posted Mar 16, 2011 23:24 UTC (Wed) by anselm
In reply to: Indirectly? Hardly.
Parent article: Kuhn: Thoughts On GPL Compliance of Red Hat's Linux Distribution
Surely the »preferred form for modifications« of a software package is whatever the upstream developers prefer to work with when making changes to the software package in question, not necessarily what the downstream recipients of the GPL'ed code would prefer to have. Given the choice, a developer from, say, Taiwan would quite probably »prefer« all the comments and identifiers in the source code to be in Chinese, but that doesn't mean you need to translate all your comments and identifiers if somebody from Taiwan asks you for a copy of the source code of your GPL'ed package.
In the case of kernel sources, the »preferred form for modifications« is presumably a patched, ready-to-compile source tree. So IMHO there is nothing wrong in principle with Red Hat shipping exactly that, for GPL compliance. Having access to a Git repository that has all the individual changesets and changelog entries is certainly a nice touch but it is by no means indispensable for what the GPL requires that recipients of the code be able to do, namely rebuild the binaries from the corresponding source.
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