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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free software jobs

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Free software jobs
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 13:04:31 +0000

Hi Sam,

> >     
> > http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowNDA
> >     
> > http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowModNDA
> >     
> > http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#DevelopChangesUnderNDA
> Thanks Ralph, I'd not problem with all that.
> The bit that was interesting is that while a vendor might give away
> full sources to customers, they must also give it away to potential
> customers,

Not necessarily.

> sort of negating the need for the customers to buy the product; and
> implying that what commercially is an "offer to provide a device"
> under GPL is deemed to have actually provided the software and
> entailed the obligations.
> Anyway, I have no particular bone to pick on that, I merely find it
> "interesting"

Under GPL V2, sorry, I'm not up on V3, someone selling hardware with GPL
code on it can meet the license in one of two ways:

    3(a) of the license by accompanying it with the "complete
    corresponding machine-readable source code", or

    3(b) by accompanying the hardware "with a written offer... to give
    any third party... a complete machine-readable copy of the
    corresponding source code"

(3(c) isn't open to them because they're a commercial distribution.)

So, yes, if they use 3(b) and accompany the hardware with a written
offer then any third party, whether they have the hardware or not, can
come asking for the source.  But if they ship the hardware with the
source then they're meeting 3(a) and never have to supply it to any
third party, put it up on the Internet for download, etc.

Recipients of the hardware could, of course, pass on the source to
whoever they like under the GPL, and if the vendor wants to ship
software upgrades then they can't do this.  But 3(a) is a useful "fire
and forget" option in some cases.

Hope that's interesting.  :-)



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