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Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 13:13:23 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

amicus_curious wrote:
Well, it seems to me that someone is being sued and the way out is to publish the source for the GPL project that they used internally.

They are not being sued for code being used internally.
They are being sued for distributing GPLed code to others
without complying with the license. Complying with the
license isn't a "way out", it's what must be done.

> I have seen nothing to indicate that this source is modified


Harald Welte was complaining about the low quality of changes
made by some vendors.

It also seems to me that any one that wanted this source would
> have to know about it ahead of time and could just as easily go
> to the original source for it.

I think GPLv3 extends the ways in which source may be made
available, but in general, whoever ships GPLed code must make
sure that users may avail themselves of their freedom. Passing
the buck to someone else isn't an option.

The simplest way to comply is to ship the source with the binary.
Doing it this way incurs no future obligations to anyone.

All benefit and no work?

Yes. Anyone who feels this is unjust need not participate.

Are you asserting that the users have some right to no-cost software?

I am not asserting anything. It is the position of the FSF that
once a user receives a program, he should be allowed to run, read,
modify, and share it, and that this should be true for all programs.
Since the law is not set up this way, the GPL was invented in the
hope that so large a body of free software would be built up that
it would put creators of non-free programs at a disadvantage. To a
large extent, that has happened, not least due to the programs
created by Richard Stallman as part of the GNU system.

The conventional wisdom is that the users are just along for the ride
> and the purpose of the codicile is to give back to the developers of
> the software some improvement so that their own ends are better met.

That is the goal of the Open Source movement, not the Free Software
movement. Think Eric Raymond vs. Richard Stallman.

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