Re: GPLed software with no true source. Was: Bug#402650: ITP: mozilla-foxyproxy
Yaroslav Halchenko <email@example.com> wrote: [...]
> If I understood GPL license correctly, upstream author simply can't
> release anything under GPL if he doesn't provide sources. Whenever I've
> asked on mozilla's addons IRC I've got reply as
> \"afaik he codes himself, and so if he writes on his page / in the
> package that it is gpl, you can use it under the gpl license\" but I
> think that he/she is incorrect in his/her understanding of GPL.
> Could anyone correct/confirm me?
You are wrong. Upstream author can do anything and you can use it
under the gpl licence, but not redistribute it, because you can't give
recipients the preferred form for making modifications. Nor can Mozilla's
addons page, so you might like to tell them if they are distributing.
> Is there anything I could do to gently
> force upstream to either provide the sources or rerelease his
> probably-full-of-spyware software under some non-FOSS license, so I
> don't even bother thinking about packaging/using it? ;-)
No, you cannot bomb the copyright holder into freedom.
I think you may be able to fork it and make the fork free software by
distributing a preferred form for modifications: the one which you use
to maintain the software. This all gets a bit confusing and fuzzy with
scripting languages IMO.
> P.S. Please CC me since I am not on debian-legal list
Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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