[Fsfe-ie] GPL query
kiniry at acm.org
Wed Jun 24 08:34:19 CEST 2009
Hi Malcolm et al.,
It won't go against the terms of the GPL2, as hundreds of folks do it
all the time (and even the FSF on rare occasion), but it will
seriously put a dent in your download numbers, in our experience.
The better solution is to only provide access to the archived source
via SVN over anonymous HTTP and then just perform a count on the
webserver log of complete transfers.
On 23 Jun, 2009, at 23:17, Glenn Strong wrote:
> Malcolm Tyrrell wrote:
>> Query from a friend of mine:
>> "We have a code released under GPL2, the source is available for
>> download over the web and by subversion. However, we would like to
>> some better stats of who our users are and how many they are.
>> Unfortunately, its impossible to track people downloading the code
>> subversion. Hence I had an idea to request subversion users to mail
>> to ask for the anonymous password - thus providing us with the
>> number of
>> users, and also with email addresses that we can use to send user
>> surveys and other spam to. Would this go against the terms of the
> [I'm not a legal expert, but then you guessed that]
> I believe this would be acceptable under the GPL2, and isn't all that
> uncommon. There is no requirement that the source be available to the
> public at large, only that it be available to those who you have given
> the binaries to. Restricting the download to those users via a
> system should be fine.
> HOWEVER, they cannot stop further distribution of the sources by their
> users, and it would be a violation of the GPL to add any terms that
> this (I am simplifying somewhat here -- see GPLV2 3c, for example). In
> practice I imagine that most people would fetch the source from the
> original site anyway, so they will probably achieve their aim of
> counting the source-desiring users. But if the software wound up in,
> say, Debian then downloads of the source debs would not be counted.
>> Opinions welcome*.
>> * Please post to the list since then I can just point him to the
>> fsfe-ie at fsfeurope.org mailing list
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>> Public archive: https://mail.fsfeurope.org/mailman/listinfo/fsfe-ie
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