Yeah, I've always hated the "preferred form" standard.
What we really want is just to stop someone from withholding the source code that he has as a means of stopping others from building on his work.
The requirement should be that you have to make available what you worked with to make the file you distributed. If you typed in a .o file with a hex editor, the .o is all you have to provide. If you used a special in-house markup language that you machine-translated to latex and then to dvi and then to Postscript that you distribute, you should have to provide the in-house markup on request.
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