Unpublished GPL Software

Frank Heckenbach frank at g-n-u.de
Fri Jul 12 23:20:57 UTC 2002

Luca Andreucci wrote:

> For a
> start, what is to be defined as a 'public access WWW server' precisely? 

I guess that's exactly why the GPL doesn't speak of public downloads
or such, but simply of distribution. If I give you a program under
the GPL (that I have the right to), then you get the GPL rights. If
I put it on some server and you manage to get it from there (in
whichever way, though legally), the same. If only a few hundred
people can get it from the server, only they get the GPL rights
directly, but, of course, they can pass them on. If I put it on a
widely accessible server, and noone bothers to download it, and I
take it back, noone gets the rights (and they can't require me to
give it to them afterwards since it wasn't distributed at all). It's
really quite simple in this respect.

The rest of your point seem to be about how to prove things. AFAIK,
there are established procedures for this at court etc., and a
contract such as the GPL couldn't change them, anyway, so it doesn't
(have to) deal with them. (Whether they always work out correctly,
is another question ...)


Frank Heckenbach, frank at g-n-u.de
GnuPG and PGP keys: http://fjf.gnu.de/plan (7977168E)

More information about the Discussion mailing list