[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: AT&T source code agreement

"Stephen C. North" <north@research.att.com> writes:

> Yes, if "delivering custom-modified" software includes sharing
> source code with customers, the AT&T Source Code Agreement further
> requires sharing the patches with AT&T.  If you keep the patches
> private my reading of the AT&T license is that you can still
> redistribute binaries.  I just realized this to my slight surprise
> and amusement.
> But doesn't the GPL also require the sharing of source code?
> Why is the GPL good and the AT&T license not?

The GPL requires that when I give you a copy of the binaries, I give
you a copy of the source.  It does not require that I give a copy of
the source to anyone else.

Scenario.  I'm sitting in Africa, watching chimps.  Thanks to Jane
Goodall, there is just so much more we know about them, that we want
to keep way more detailed records.  So there's five of us, with our
laptops, but no net access.  

We're using your software, but we discover a deficiency, and so we fix
the bug.  Now each of us is working independently: we are employed by
different institutions; we happen to cooperate and live near each
other in the forest, but we have no formal ties.

If we were restricted under your agreement, we would not be able to
share the fixed program among ourselves, because (being in the forest)
we are unable to send you a copy of the patch.


Reply to: