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On 3/13/07, Rick DeNatale <rick.denatale / gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On 3/12/07, Chad Perrin <perrin / apotheon.com> wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 13, 2007 at 07:31:23AM +0900, Rick DeNatale wrote:
> > > On 3/11/07, Chad Perrin <perrin / apotheon.com> wrote:
>
> > > The more I think about this though, I'm not sure I want someone's
> > > binaries without the source.  The thrust of the FSF and for that
> > > matter the open source movement is *open source*, not gratis
> > > distribution of binary software.  Having the source available with the
> > > binaries also provides for at least a minimal audit trail to the
> > > licensing terms of those binaries.  If you just download the binaries,
> > > and you can't tie them to source, how to you as a user show that you
> > > have a license to the software?
> >
> > How do you feel about people having a (legally protected) right to
> > distribute Linux LiveCDs without having to push several CDs full of
> > source code on the recipients at the same time?
>
> That's not requred by the GPL, the requirement is that if you
> distribute such a live CD, you need to make the source used to create
> it available. You don't need to deliver it concurrently.
>
> > There's a difference between downloading software with the source
> > available, then later finding that the source for that exact version of
> > the binary went away, and downloading software when no source is
> > available.  I don't believe that conflating the two situations helps
> > clear up the legal ramifications of the situation at all.
>
> So stop conflating them, the GPL doesn't.
>
> > > The real selling proposition of open-source is that it provides better
> > > protection to the person or organization using the software that it
> > > will continue to be available and maintainable.  If only the binaries
> > > are available, due either to neglect by or the future absense of the
> > > distributor, this advantage is lost.  Witness the recent suggestions
> > > for a 'living will' for the owner of an open source project, it's
> > > motivated by the same idea which is to keep the project alive past the
> > > disinterest or the demise of the originators.
> >
> > In practice, the source of BSD-licensed software is as easily available
> > as the source of GPLed software, generally speaking.  If the source
> > disappears, however, you now can't do anything with the binary at all,
> > except continue to use it -- and, at that point, you have to ensure you
> > don't accidentally "distribute" it sans source.  That's my point.
>
> The strength of the GPL here is that it requires mechanisms to ensure
> that the source continues to remain available.
>
> > > >Of course, I find both annoyingly limited in applicability to a
> single
> > > >form of copyrightable work, and the BSD license's applicability to
> > > >derivative works is ambiguous.  I still prefer the BSD license over
> the
> > > >GPL, especially considering recent examples of the FSF threatening
> legal
> > > >action against small community Linux distributions for debatable
> > > >violations of GPL terms.
> > >
> > > Or one could view it as a wake-up call that keeping open-source open
> > > requires distributing open source.
> >
> > A social revolution loses some ethical purity when enforced at the point
> > of a gun -- and that's what the law is: a gun to one's head.
>
> Another way of looking at it is that the law is a tool for protecting
> the interests of people in society.  The GPL is carefully crafted with
> knowledge of global intellectual property law, so as to protect the
> right to distribute software with the assurance that others will have
> the right to run, modify, and redistribute it in a way such that those
> rights will be preserved.
>
> And we've probably argued this to the point where most who hang out
> here are no longer interested, if they ever were. ;-)


That might be so, but they have the delete button, while I think that those
who have the time and energy to follow it get rewarded with your POV (and
the other POVs too don't hit me Chad ;).

Robert

--
> Rick DeNatale
>
> My blog on Ruby
> http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/
>
>


-- 
You see things; and you say Why?
But I dream things that never were; and I say Why not?
-- George Bernard Shaw

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