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GPL3 is much clearer on "preferred form"

GPL3 is much clearer on "preferred form"

Posted Mar 9, 2011 18:38 UTC (Wed) by pebolle (subscriber, #35204)
Parent article: Red Hat and the GPL

From the GPL3 [0]:

> 1. Source Code.
>
> The “source code” for a work means the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it. “Object code” means any non-source form of a work.

In the GPL3 "preferred form" is used only to distinguish source code from, say, binaries. It is, unsurprisingly, a very broad term. We're talking about something vague like: "computer files with human readable text that can be used to edit programs and can be fed to compilers, interpreters, etc.". It seems very unlikely that "preferred form" can be used to demand rather specific things, like (in this case) individual patches. The GPL3 doesn't go into such details. And, I'd say, neither does the GPL2.

[0: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html ]


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