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Re: What counts as "distribution"

From: Robert Inder
Subject: Re: What counts as "distribution"
Date: 25 Jun 2007 09:59:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3

>>>>> David Kastrup writes:
    > Subject: Re: What counts as "distribution"
    > Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2007 17:20:25 +0200

    > Robert Inder <> writes:


    >> The GPL restricts the distribution of GPL software with non-GPL to
    >> "mere aggregation", and I'd rather not get into worrying about
    >> whether that applies to us.

    > No, it does not.  It spells out the rights of _recipients_ of
    > distributed software.  

Which it does by imposing _restrictions_ on those from whom they
received.  I.e. it restricts the distribution...

    > If there is no recipient, there is nobody whose rights need to
    > be heeded.

    >> But, having read the FSF's FAQ, I believe that putting software onto
    >> lots of computers isn't "distributing" it, at least as long as the
    >> laptops belong to the company.
    >> I worry that this sounds like hair splitting, but... Is that right?

    > The software is distributed (of _course_ you can't just duplicate
    > software without a license to do that) but not disseminated.

You are distinguishing between "distributing" (which is mentioned
throughout the GPL) and "disseminating" (which isn't).

What's the difference?  

Remember: my post started by asking for a definition of "distributing"
software.  Your distributing / disseminating distinction is the kind
of thing I have in mind.

I am sure that "distributing" software (in the sense of the GPL) is
not synonymous with "putting on computers".  It may not even cover
all forms of "giving it to someone".  But i can't find anything
(literally) definitive.


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