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Re: Outdated GNU config (config.{sub,guess}) and autotools-dev

On Mon, Jul 23, 2001 at 01:29:15PM -0500, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > First you say there is no violation.  Then you say that one woul have to
> > proof that there is a violation.  Now you say that if one has proved that
> > there is a violation, the proof itself makes it possible to "retroactive"
> > comply with the license.  This may work for a school boys home page, but for
> > Debian it is not a good foundation to stay on.
> Nothing retroactive about it.  If such an archive exists and is accessible to
> the parties involved in the suit, it's possible to comply with the terms of
> the GPL, prior to any suit taking place.  If the archive does not exist, or is
> not accessible to the parties involved in the lawsuit, then it would not be
> possible to prove in a court of law that a violation took place.

The sole existance of the source somewhere is not enough to fulfill the terms
of the GPL.

> > I am looking for ways to comply with the license in the first place,
> > in an inambiguous, technically satisfying way.  From what else you wrote,
> > I take it we don't share this goal, and going over the same points over
> > and over again does not make sense to me.
> That's all well and good for you to say, but it still doesn't tell me why
> you believe it's dangerous or wrong for this to be done in Debian.

First, I am opposed to the idea of changing the source at build time for
technical reasons.  However, in the discussion at the beginning of this thread
I detected what I believe is a violation of the GPL in the proposed scheme
and in existing practice (GPL'ed libraries).  Now, you might disagree
with the idea that it is a violation, but I hope you understand that
for someone who thinks there is one, it is only logical to think it is
wrong for Debian to do it.  I don't think it is dangerous.  From a pragmatical
point of view, we could violate many licenses.  We could have included KDE
a long time before we did.  Many commercial distributions of Linux are not
as careful about licenses as Debian, and they get away with it because the
authors don't care or take notice.  Leaving the license discussion, many
people get away with a lot of obviously illegal activities.


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