Subject: Re: What's the definition of "distribution"?
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 03:17:16 -0400

On Thu, 2002-06-20 at 00:57, Mark Shewmaker wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 18, 2002 at 03:00:23PM -0400, Jonathan S. Shapiro wrote:
> > > At 6:04 PM -0400 6/17/02, Keith Bostic wrote:
> > > >Does anybody know if the FSF has tried to define "distribution"
> > > >for the purposes of the GPL?
> [...]
> > A copy made by a legal entity that is not transferred to some
> > other legal entity is not a distribution in any sense, because there
> > no transfer (legally) within a single entity.
> > 
> > Thus, one employee providing a copy to a second is not a
> So does it follow then that one employee providing a copy of Microsoft
> for (the additional) use by another employee would not be considered a
> distribution of Microsoft's code?
> If not, why is it a distribution when such a copy is of non-free code
> but not when such a copy is of GPL'd code?

Indeed it follows that this is so.

Your question is misplaced. The Word license is expressed in terms of
copying, not in terms of distribution. If memory serves me, a single
entity is permitted to make only one archive copy of Word.

So the question about "distribution" in the context of Word isn't really