Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: "Ben Tilly" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 21:03:16 -0700

 Thu, 27 Apr 2006 21:03:16 -0700
On 4/27/06, Anderson, Kelly <> wrote:
> > > Ok, so the Navy has the code, but the airman firing the missle from
> > > the aircraft carrier doesn't. Since it's been "distributed" to him,
> > > isn't he entitled to the software under GPL terms?
> >
> > It hasn't been legally distributed to him.  He no more owns a
> > copy of the binary than he owns the missile or aircraft
> > carrier - the Navy does.  He is merely an employee using the
> > Navy's property.
> Ah, this makes everything clear, sort of. Distributing means "ownership"
> has somehow been transferred... I'll have to mull that over. How do you
> define "distributed"?

I don't define it.

I let lawyers do that.

My understanding is that providing the software to an employee is not
distributing it.  Providing it to a contractor may or may not be. 
Providing it to a contractor who then takes it off site pretty
definitely is.

I freely admit that my understanding could be completely wrong.