[Fsfe-ie] The Sunday Business Post and the Live CD

Ben North ben at redfrontdoor.org
Mon Apr 26 12:41:44 CEST 2004

Who would count as "distributing" the software from the point of view of
complying with the licences?  In particular, for the source code
availability requirement of the GPL, would it be the newspaper?  Would
this count as "non-commercial" distribution, thereby allowing the
newspaper to elect to comply with 3(c) of the GPL?

    c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer
    to distribute corresponding source code.  (This alternative is
    allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you
    received the program in object code or executable form with such
    an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

(IANAL, but I would guess distribution with a newspaper probably /would/
count as commercial.)  So would the newspaper have to do either 3(a)
(provide source code there and then) or 3(b) (provide a written offer,
good for three years, etc.)?

Maybe they would prefer to adopt the "written offer" route, in which
case IFSO should probably supply the source to them, and then it's the
newspaper's responsibility to make sure nobody throws them away for
three years.

Sorry if everybody is already thinking about this, but I think it's
important to not rush into shipping a binary-only set of GPL programs
without thinking about the licence.  Although only a tiny fraction of
the readership will care about source code, it's a critical part of the
"free"ness of Free Software.  Would they even print the GPL in full with
a bit of background/explanation?  Or is it going to be more presented as
a "try this alternative way of playing with your computer"?

Apologies for missing the last meeting; I was rather ill.


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