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Re: Is forcing "upstream" distribution really OK for free software?


From: Martin Dickopp
Subject: Re: Is forcing "upstream" distribution really OK for free software?
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 08:26:46 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

MJ Ray <address@hidden> writes:

> [...]
> However, the page http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html had a
> comment that requiring distribution to the original developer if asked
> is OK.
> [...]

If you're looking for the official position of the GNU project, this
newsgroup is probably not the best place to ask.  In my experience,
most regulars here are not GNU/FSF officials.

Here's my opinion (IANAG/FO).  You are probably referring to the
statement "It is also acceptable for the license to require that, if you
have distributed a modified version and a previous developer asks for a
copy of it, you must send one."  This can put a large burden on the
developer; for example, I cannot publish the modification and then throw
the program (and modification) away, instead I have to keep a copy, make
backups, etc, so that I can later fulfill the request.  While it doesn't
directly interfere with the four freedoms (IMHO), I still consider it
problematic at best.

Martin


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