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Re: emacs-snapshot for arm

On 8/20/10, Alok G. Singh <alephnull@hcoop.net> wrote:
> Martin Guy mailed me off-list to remind me about the terms of
>  distributing  GPL software. So, to clarify:
>  0. The binaries are NOT signed. Caveat emptor.
>  1. This is just an armel build of emacs-snapshot[1]. The license is in
>    the source tree.
>  2. The packages are not in a repository format. It's really just a
>    personal build. I only put it up online as a backup for me. If
>    someone wants to use them, go ahead.

It has nothing to do with these points. You are distributing a binary
blob of GPL software without distributing the source code and without
including the license.

I think you should read the GPL and understand it if you want to work
with GPL'd open source.

I too break the GPL. I distribute binaries for a modified version of
GCC accompanied only by source patches to well-known GCC
distributions. This, too, is illegal but I can't afford to host
hundreds of megabytes of GCC sources, let alone have people
downloading them, and it is not against the spirit of the GPL in that
the source freedom accompanied the software.
Distributing binaries and patches to well-known sources is an issue
that GPLv3 failed to address.

I mailed you off-list to share awareness of this issue. I must say, a
public rebuttal to a private message, changing nothing and just making
excuses is disappointing. I don't want you to take the stuff down -
it's a great public service you are doing by making them available - I
just want you to understand the GPL and think about following it,
since it explicitly forbids publishing binary blobs.

To be legal, all you need to do is read the GPL, understand it, and
follow its terms of use. To follow it to the letter, you need to
either put the Debian source package next to the binaries or copy the
COPYING license file there and put a README including an offer to send
the sources by post (!).
   It would be nice to saying what commands were used to build the
binaries from the sources, but requiring build instructions is a
second issue that the GPLv3 failed to address.


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