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Re: Emacs 23.4 Updated Windows Binaries published

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Emacs 23.4 Updated Windows Binaries published
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2012 06:42:54 +0100

On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 06:22, Stephen J. Turnbull <address@hidden> wrote:
> Lennart Borgman writes:
>  > On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 04:46, Stephen J. Turnbull <address@hidden> wrote:
>  > > If you mean that Emacs doesn't need to distribute those sources
>  > > *with Emacs*, that is true.  If you mean that Emacs docs can
>  > > point to the upstream sources, you misunderstand.
>  >
>  > Stephen, can you please explain exactly what makes it not
>  > permissible to point to the upstream sources?
> Eli answered this briefly already, but here's some additional detail
> and rationale.

Thanks, I am looking for the details.

>  > You say below that it does not satisfy the GPL. Is that what you
>  > mean?
> Almost.  First, to the extent that the distributed code is under the
> GPL but not owned by the FSF, that's exactly right.
> Second, even if the additional library code is owned by the FSF, I
> consider that the FSF is morally (and perhaps legally by its charter
> and the assignment contracts it has entered) bound to provide that
> code on terms that allow third parties to easily redistribute Emacs
> exactly as they receive it, not to mention with their own
> modifications if they desire.  Having to chase down sources on
> multiple hosts (some of which may no longer exist at the time you
> receive the code) is not my idea of fulfilling that obligation.
> I'm willing to go out on a limb and speak for Richard here: he would
> also find that unacceptable.
>  > What does it break?
> It breaks Section 6d of the GNU General Public License, v3 (and the
> similar section in GPLv2, which is stricter):
>      6. Conveying Non-Source Forms.
>      You may convey a covered work in object code form under the terms
>    of sections 4 and 5, provided that you also convey the
>    machine-readable Corresponding Source under the terms of this License,
>    in one of these ways:
>        d) Convey the object code by offering access from a designated
>        place (gratis or for a charge), and offer equivalent access to the
>        Corresponding Source in the same way through the same place at no
>        further charge.

I can't see that this in a legal way prevents from pointing to sources
that is not owned by the distributor.

And when it comes to making the code easily accessible would not
something like DOI be useful? (http://www.doi.org/)

(Maybe Richard wants to clarify this. I am adding him.)

> Other parts of section 6 would also be broken in similar ways in case
> of "embedded Emacs" or "Emacs-on-a-disk" distribution.
> Note that even if Emacs can legally get around this requirement
> because the FSF owns all related code, anybody downstream from Emacs
> cannot.  They must comply with the GPL in full, which (strictly
> speaking) means providing the exact copy of the Corresponding Sources
> that produced the binary they're distributing.

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