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Re: GPL violations [was Re: Suggestion: Skip Slink!]

On Wed, Jan 06, 1999 at 01:06:27PM -0500, ijr@po.cwru.edu wrote:

> On 06-Jan-99 Avery Pennarun wrote:
> > Violating the GPL?  If packages are different between i386 and sparc
> > (which they regularly are, since non-i386 arches have fewer developers
> > yet), then the FTP site already violates the GPL by not including two
> > different source archives (or diffs).  We know about that, it'll
> > probably get fixed sometime.  Meanwhile, releasing a CD with the same
> > files on it is no better or worse.  Once the problem is fixed, CD's
> > won't violate the GPL if the FTP site doesn't.
> This annoys me.  You (meaning Debian as a whole) decide to remove KDE
> because it violates the GPL.  This infraction only recieves a "it'll
> probably get fixed sometime". Some double standard..  Debian is allowed to
> ignore the GPL while software developers must follow it to the letter?
> This is just as serious an infraction, if not moreso, than the KDE
> problem. IMO, every package without source available should be removed
> pronto. "But but it'll break ...." Big fat deal, maybe someone will be
> more inclined to actually fix it, instead of just babbling about possible
> ways to do so.

To clarify the problem:  we never have packages without source, only
packages without the _exact_ source that an old binary might have used, and
then only if one architecture uses a different package than another.  I
consider that a problem (it's nice to know _exactly_ what source your binary
came from) but not a serious one (if you really care, you can rebuild a
binary from the latest source).  This is non-ideal, but IMHO not critical. 
Even as a security concerned sysadmin (which I am) it doesn't bother me.

KDE has much more serious problems.  They say in their license that we
aren't allowed to distribute it.  Therefore we don't.  A simple two-line
change to their license would have allowed Debian to distribute KDE.


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