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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 15:34:07 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

amicus_curious wrote:
The test would be where an infringing vendor is ordered by the
> court to disclose the changes made to the GPL source and not
> offered voluntarily.

I don't believe this can happen. Someone infringing on the
license can be ordered to stop infringing, and to pay statutory
and actual damages. If they don't want to disclose their changes
they don't have to, but then they don't get to copy and distribute.

It would seem more logical to simply point to the original so that version control is obtained. If there are multiple souces of some source, who is guarantee that all are updated concurrently? With the plethora of versions that usually emanate from and OSS project, I would consider this to be a goal rather than a violation of the GPL.

The source provided to users must be exactly the source used
to build the version of the program they receive. That insures
that users can read the program they have. Certainly the creators
of the program are free to go beyond that base requirement, but
the base requirement must be met. One reason is that source code
is changed over time. Absent the GPL's requirements a user who has
received a copy of a program and sometime afterward wants to read
it could find that the version available no longer matched his.

That still seems rather insane.

Different people have different goals. People who do not share
the goals enforced by the GPL ought not to distribute their work
using it. But they should expect that people who do share the
goals of the GPL will ignore their work.

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