Re: defining "distribution" (Re: A few more LPPL concerns)
On Sunday 21 July 2002 22:59, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> On Sun, 2002-07-21 at 22:40, Boris Veytsman wrote:
> > I think that a sysadmin that put
> > a changed copy of latex.fmt in the $TEXFORMATS directory to be used by
> > his users, *distributes* a changed LaTeX. You think he does not; the
> > problem with your theory is that it undermines both the intentions of
> > LPPL AND GPL.
> The problem with this is that the GPL disagrees:
> > Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
> > covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of
> > running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program
> > is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
> > Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).
> It's crucial to your point, therefore, that there not be a distinction
> between running the program from /usr/local/bin or /afs/whatever/bin. I
> think we've shown that this isn't the case, since a sysadmin does not
> need to give source to every person with a login on his box, but does if
> he exports the program via AFS.
It might be instructive to think about Bison here. Anyone who uses bison
gets a substantial chunk of Bison's code. Is that distribution (when the user
is not the same as or part of the owner of the system)? Yes, I know the
doesn't have to be GPL'ed, that's not the question. The only question is
whether a copyrighted work (part of the bison executable that happens
to be a large chunk of text) is distributed when that new work is made.
Given the macro-expansion nature of tex, the same consideration
might apply to the latex files. Then again, it might just correspond to
the case if bison's output were immediately compiled without ever being
written to disk.
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