Needless to say, this pattern is often done in reverse, but I'm sure a lot of upstreams would like to see more instances of the above.
And that's exactly why Red Hat's move here has some kernel hackers (Greg K-H at least) wincing.
On the other hand, as long as there is no information loss either way in a two-way transformation, and the tools to convert from one form to the other are widely available, I don't think the spirit nor the letter of the GNU GPL is infringed.
That Red Hat's conversion from source+patches to monolithic when generating the SRPM is inescapably information-lossy is precisely the competitive advantage they are seeking from it.
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