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Re: GPL Violation

On Fri, Feb 28, 2003 at 11:36:04PM -0500, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
>If you provide download links to where one can download the software
>does that not satisfy the following license provision?

The GPL doesn't say anything about your using someone else to satisfy
your obligations.  If *you* provide binaries, then *you* provide sources.
A download link to another site outside of your control does not satisfy
the GPL.

Believe me.  We know what we're doing.  We've been through this dance a
hundred times before.  There seems to be some kind of common mindset
where people think they don't have to provide sources and offer up
exactly the same argument whenever they are told that they do.  They
always point out that they love free software and they always try to
find some clause in the GPL as a way to justify their actions.  You
aren't saying anything we haven't heard before.

You want more explanation?  What happens when we update the DLL and the
sources for the version of the DLL that you're providing disappear from  How is the GPL satisfied in that scenario?  There's a
binary without sources.  That sure sounds wrong to me.

What happens if I decide that I hate cygwin and take down the web site?
Where do your users get the sources for the binaries?

>"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."
>If not what then does the above provision mean?  Or more specifically
>just what does "place" mean?  The visible place or space such as web
>page that offers links to source and binaries side by side, or some
>physical constraint that they both must reside on the same domain, same
>machine or *gasp* even same hard drive.  Is it not the spirit of
>license of the license to offer the source up and not hide it?  Or is
>it to demand some sort of fixed network topology?

There is no spirit here.  The GPL is clear.  It exists for a purpose.
If you are providing a binary, then you must provide the source.

Please either provide the sources for the DLL on your web site or remove
cygwin1.dll from your distribution.

I'm not saying this because I'm mean.  I'm saying this because if we
don't enforce the license then when some big company wants to distribute
the DLL with their software offering and we say "You can't do that" they
can point at you and say "Oh yeah?  Sorry but you allowed that guy over
there to get away with it, so you obviously are not being consistent in
your enforcement."  And, then we get to fight about it in court.

Btw, I see that you do have the sources for fetchmail on your site so
that part at least is good.


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