Re: MPL and Source Code
Craig Southeren writes:
> Section 3 of the GPL states that the source code for a binary-only
> distribution must be available on demand for three years.
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do 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.)
Which part of "one of the following" was unclear about giving a
distributor the option to follow 3(a) but not 3(b)?
> The MPL specifies (see para 3.2) that source must be provided via an
> agreed "Electronic Distribution Mechanism", which is defined as (see
> para 1.4) "...a mechanism generally accepted in the software development
> community for the electronic transfer of data."
> I don't see why this excludes FTP. I would expect to also include HTTP,
> scp, rsync, or for that matter, CVS and SVN.
The "Electronic Distribution Mechanism" clause applies if you want to
continue to provide source for six or twelve months, which is the
objection -- given package update rates, this could add up to hundreds
of megabytes of compressed files.
The alternative listed is to distribute source "on the same media",
and then canons of contract construction kick in; specifically,
expressio unius est exclusio alterius, where the specification of
"Electronic Distribution Mechanism" as a thing distinct from "media"
means that the safe assumption is that an "Electronic Distribution
Mechanism" cannot be "the same media". See, for example, Clinchfield
Coal Co. v. FMSHRC, 895 F.2d 773, 779 (D.C. Cir. 1990).