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Re: RedHat SRPMS

On Fri, 2003-10-03 at 12:54, Federico Sacerdoti wrote:
> On Friday, October 3, 2003, at 11:37 AM, Xose Vazquez Perez wrote:
> > Federico Sacerdoti wrote:
> >
> >> I could reliably argue that this (3a) means the Internet. A vast
> >> majority of software in our realm is distributed this way, etc.
> >> Also, an argument could also be made that the source must be available
> >> over the same medium as the binaries. If you distribute your binary 
> >> via
> >> the Internet, the source must also be available over the Internet.
> >> Otherwise, you are making the source "more difficult" to get in some
> >> sense, and are violating 3a) almost by definition.
> >
> > We were talking about Enterprise distributions. Neither RHEL nor
> > United Linux binaries or ISO were distributed freely over the NET.
> We are talking in general terms about the GPL and its requirements. I 
> agree that some RedHat products are not available over the Internet.

No, we are talking about products you can not download freely on the

However, even by your invalid assertion, you are still incorrect. The
GPL only requires ONE of the following:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source
code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2
above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or, 

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to
give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically
performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the
corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections
1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
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 you see, there is:
a) no requirement that you put the sources on the net.
b) No requirement you makes sources available to people you didn't
distribute it to.

That is why RH putting the SRPMS on the ftp site is beyond the call
required by the GPL.

SuSE and RH distributions include the source on CD/DVD (a "medium
customarily used for software exchange"), thus they meet that
requirement of the GPL.

As to the question of whether the spec file is covered by the GPL, yes
it is. The GPL requires the scripts/files/etc/ used to build the binary,
as noted in Section 3:
"the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the

To put it plainly, if I modify a GPLed work, and give it to my wife, you
have no right to the modified source code or the program. Period. I did
not distribute it to you. Thus, unless you get a copy of RHEL or SLES,
you have no rights to the source for it/them. Period. Even if you wrote
the original GPLed code.

Bill Anderson
RHCE #807302597505773
bill noreboots com

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