GPL Violation is normal ?

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Fri Nov 8 14:37:46 UTC 2002

>     |     c) Accompany  it with the  information you received  as to
>     |     the offer to  distribute corresponding source code.  (This
>     |     alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution
>     |     and only  if you  received the program  in object  code or
>     |     executable  form  with  such  an  offer,  in  accord  with
>     |     Subsection b above.)
> So,  if  a  friend  of   yours  downloads  a  copy  of  a  GNU/Linux
> distribution  and makes you  a present  of it,  saying that  you can
> download  the sources  from the  distro website,  then it  should be
> fine: it is a non-commercial distribution.

Not quite. Because if you download, you didn't receive "an offer
accoding to section b above". Rather, you chose not to download the
source as you were not interested in it.  You can't give accompany
your copy with "information you received as to the offer to distribute
corresponding source code".

If someone makes available both source and binary on the net, he/she
can't be responsible for your copy after you willingly chose not to
download source (your will, not his/her fault:

     If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering
     access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent
     access to copy the source code from the same place counts as
     distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not
     compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

> But, for  example, the  magazines that are  sold together  with Free
> Software  CD-ROMs are violating  the GNU  GPL: they're  performing a
> commercial distribution, and should offer the source code themselves
> without pointing to someone else's website.

This matches my feeling of the situation


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