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Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?


From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Is the GPL all encompassing?
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 14:27:39 -0400


"Hyman Rosen" <address@hidden> wrote in message news:address@hidden
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.

You are correct.  I meant to say "used internal to their own product".

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

<http://laforge.gnumonks.org/weblog/linux/gpl-violations/>

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

First off, he complains about the utility of the contributions being next to nil, but these are contributions made voluntarily and absent any enforcement of the GPL. 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.

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.

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.

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.

That still seems rather insane.  What would linonut say here?



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