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Re: Meaning of `source code'

Bruce Perens wrote:
  >From: "Oliver Elphick" <olly@lfix.co.uk>
  >> I have asked them, but they do not want to distribute the Eiffel code. 
  >> I think they have dreams of making a parallel commercial distribution.
  >> Although the GPL gives the right to the ultimate source, it is only
  >> enforceable by the original author; so that's a dead end, isn't it?
  >It's worse than that. It can be enforced on US. Under the terms of the GPL
  >we have no legal right to distribute the program if we can't provide the
  >Eiffel source code, and the copyright holder could hold us to that at any

It's not that bad; if someone releases software under an inconsistent
license, I think they would be estopped from pursuing someone who acted
in accordance with their manifest intention, namely to release it as
free-to-use software, even if it isn't free software as we define it.

Estoppel is a concept in English law, but I should have thought it must
have an equivalent in American law. The SmallEiffel developers are in
France, however.  I have no knowledge of how French law views such a case.

I don't know if there has ever been any legal action in any country over
free software; does anyone know of any case?  It would be interesting to
find out even which jurisdiction would be applicable in the case of
stuff released over the Internet, particularly if it is placed on mirrors
in different countries.  

  >Please put the program in non-free, and put a note in the copyright on
  >the package to this effect:
  >	The original source code of this program is in the Eiffel language,
  >	and is not available. This violates the GPL. The package has been
  >	placed in non-free until this is resolved.

OK, I will do that.

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

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