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Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

On Wed, Jan 02, 2002 at 11:01:44AM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:
>       What happens
>     to me if I am Joe Q. Ignorant User running my GNU/Linux distribution
>     with no source code on the machine, and I give my friend a copy of my
>     gcc executable?
> Under the GPL, this is only allowed if you obtained this executable
> with a written offer to provide source code, and you must pass along
> a copy of that written offer.
> If you got this executable by (for instance) downloading the
> executable from debian.org, where the source was available but you did
> not get it, then you can't redistribute.  You have to get the source
> code, and redistribute with the source code.

Eh?  I can't redistribute a binary even if I haven't modified it?

This seems a pretty strange requirement.  It forbids exactly the kind of
ad hoc file swapping that used to be so popular.  Maybe still is.  :)

Sure, *programmers* would far rather swap source code than binaries
under most circumstances, but people shuttle binaries around by
themselves all the time.  Sometimes just to see if something is broken.
("My /bin/ls doesn't work, can you send me yours?")

This practice is really forbidden by the GPL?

G. Branden Robinson                |       Convictions are more dangerous
Debian GNU/Linux                   |       enemies of truth than lies.
branden@debian.org                 |       -- Friedrich Nietzsche
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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