Subject: Re: Possibly stupid GPL question
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:51:49 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Bruce" == Bruce Perens <bruce@perens.com> writes:

    >> They then start shipping their modified version with a written
    >> offer, good for 5 years from initial release (not just the 3
    >> listed in the GPL) that anyone who wants can request source,
    >> and have their name be put immediately into a public list of
    >> people who will receive the source-code at 5 years from initial
    >> release.

    Bruce> If you were the author of software they were redistributing
    Bruce> and took them to court, they would lose. A delay that long
    Bruce> is tantamount to actively avoiding their contract
    Bruce> obligation.

_Any_ delay besides shipping and handling is actively avoiding the
contract; clauses 3a and 3c make it clear that the response to the
demand for the source code is intended to be immediate.  I don't know
that that would stand up in court, but logically it kills the idea
dead.

BTW: If the S&H took too long, the user (_not_ the copyright holder!) 
could presumably sue the company for not diligently executing
contractual obligations; not that you'd get anything very valuable
(except the source code) as compensation.

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