Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: "Ben Tilly" <>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 11:03:27 -0700

 Fri, 28 Apr 2006 11:03:27 -0700
On 4/27/06, Lawrence Rosen <> wrote:
> > > How do you define "distributed"?
> >
> > I don't define it.
> >
> > I let lawyers do that.
> Better still, in some cases the license defines it. See sections 5 and 14 of
> OSL 3.0 (

That may confuse the issue more than it clarifies it.

Suppose that the GPL defined distribution in such a way that putting
the software on an employee's machine was distribution.  Suppose that
an employer puts software on an employee's machine but is not willing
to give that employee the source to take home.  It would appear that
the employer was violating the GPL.  However that is not so, the GPL
is a copyright license, not a contract.  Therefore as long as the
employer is not doing something that requires permission under
copyright law, the employer has no need to pay any attention to the
GPL.  The end result is that the GPL doesn't actually mean what it
appears to say.

I prefer the present situation where it is clear that you have to fall
back on the murky definitions in copyright law, rather than a
situation where it appears that you don't, but actually you do