Subject: Re: Gimp Copyright issues
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 16:37:23 -0400 (EDT)

On Sun, 5 Jul 1998 jsshapiro@earthlink.net wrote:
> Pardon me if the following summary includes things you already know -- 
> it's best to be comprehensive in such discussions.
> 
>     1. Simply *linking* LGPL code does not violate the license, and
>        there is really nothing you can do about this.
> 
>     2. Distributing an unmodified GPL'd binary and referring to
>        existing online-available source code is not an infringement.

Distributing an unmodified GPLed binary without distributing source
code with it is permissible in two cases:

1. The distributor provides the source code themselves to any third
party who asks, at no more than the cost of duplication.  Putting the
source on your ftp site is not sufficient (unless that's how you're
distributing the binaries, which is different; having them together on
your ftp site is considered to be distributing them together.)  The
problem is that ftp sites are not available to everyone, and were
available to many fewer people when the GPLv2 was written.  You must be
willing to mail people disks, tapes, CD-ROMs, or something similar.
Furthermore, you must include a written offer to do this when you
distribute the binaries.

2. The distributor received their binary from someone who was doing
(1), in which case, they can simply give you a copy of the offer they
received.

> Perverse observation: technically, shipping punch cards would satisfy
> the machine-readable source requirement,

The GPL specifies "a medium customarily used for software
interchange".  Punch cards don't cut it anymore.

Kragen