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Re: Copyrights and GPL (and QT) (was Re: Meaning of `source code')

Charles Briscoe-Smith wrote [concerning smalleiffel's licence]:
  >If I create a work and distribute it under the terms of the GPL, anyone
  >who does not already have the right to copy it -- i.e., anyone other
  >than me -- may not copy it unless they abide by the GPL's terms.  If I
  >don't provide the "complete, machine-readable source code", I am still
  >perfectly entitled to distribute my work under the GPL, but nobody else
  >may redistribute it because they would have to break the terms of the GPL.
  >In other words, I'm only allowing you to redistribute my program if
  >you include full source code.  You don't have that source code?  Oops!
  >That means you can't copy the program!

The GPL says:
  1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, ...

If this issue were ever to come to court, and I were defending, I would
argue that the obvious intention of the licence, _in_the_cirumstances_of_
the_case_, is that `source code' refers to the C code generated by the
Eiffel compiler.  That is the clear implication of the licence as it is
being used by the upstream author, even if RMS would disagree.

In general, an inconsistency in a contract or a licence should be 
interpreted in the light of the circumstances.

Therefore, we can distribute SmallEiffel, but it will go in non-free because
it violates Debian's policy.

Oliver Elphick                                Oliver.Elphick@lfix.co.uk
Isle of Wight                                  http://lfix.co.uk/oliver

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