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Re: Dangerous precedent being set - possible serious violation of the GPL

[debian-legal added explicitly; Debian webmaster trimmed]

Caspian writes:

> On Sat, 27 Nov 1999, Richard Stallman wrote:
> > If the license is a free software license, then it permits you to put
> > the software on your own ftp site and allow anyone to copy it.  So
> > that is a thing you could "do about" the situation.
> Provided that that is allowed by Corel... I do not have a site with such
> bandwidth to spare. :/ Perhaps someone out there would be willing to put
> up their dist for download, for the sole purpose of bypassing that EULA.
> However, I am under the -distinct- impression that Corel would consider
> anyone obtaining their distribution without agreeing to their EULA
> 'illegal'/'immoral', or in other words "against their rules".

You might be forgetting that the product called "Corel Linux" is a
collection of software containing both proprietary software _and_ free
software.  Because this collection contains proprietary software from
Corel, you do not have the legal right to redistribute it without
Corel's permission.

Corel probably _would_ consider people redistributing their proprietary
software without their permission "illegal", "immoral", or "against their

The GPL says that

	In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
	with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
	a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
	the scope of this License.

Corel Linux is an aggregation of software from several sources, including
Debian and Corel.  Not all of this software is covered by the GPL, or even
by any free software license.  For this reason, and this reason only, Corel
might object to redistribution of the entire project.

There is no indication anywhere, in the Corel Linux EULA or in any statement
from Corel, that Corel objects to the free and unlimited redistribtion of the
portions of Corel Linux that are free software.

I've written a longer message about this on another list, and I might send
portions of that message to this list.

Richard, has the Free Software Foundation formed any recommendations for
distributors of compilations or distributions made up of software packages
which are under a variety of different licenses?  What would be the most
appropriate way for a distributor to explain that some, or the majority, of
the components in a system were licensed under the GPL, but that the system
as a whole was not?

The GPLed programs within Corel Linux presumably retain all of the notices
required by the GPL.

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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