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Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

On Wed, Jan 02, 2002 at 11:09:12PM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     > Yep, that's the GPL.  Of course, the person you give the binary to can
>     > say "you don't need to give me the source", and then you're off the
>     > hook. =20
>     Er, I don't think that's permitted, either.
> Yes it is.  You have to provide or offer the sources, but the person
> who receives them does not have to take or keep them.
>       If it didn't, then I as Big Evil Proprietary Software
>     Company would just sell binary-only CD's in exchange for cash plus a
>     signed declaration that "I hereby forfeit my right to recieve source
>     code from you".
> I don't believe that is really the same situation.

How isn't it?  The above statement in writing is no different in meaning
or intent from saying "no thanks" when the person handing you a binary
of GCC also offers you the source code.  It's just a lot more

Note that I am not endorsing or condoning the tactics in my "Big Evil"
paragraph above, I'm just not sure what in the GPL is stopping people
from doing it.

>     RMS, can this subject be explored in more depth for GPL v3?
> I don't think there is a need for change here, and I think it would be
> a bad idea for reasons already stated.

In your personal opinion, is the sort of file-swapping under discussion
something that should be protected under Fair Use exceptions to copyright

The reason I ask is because I would agree with you that amending the GPL
to cover this scenario would be a bad idea if it would presume an
illegitimate exercise of copyright.  But I don't know if you think such
an exercise would be illegitimate.

G. Branden Robinson                |
Debian GNU/Linux                   |           If ignorance is bliss,
branden@debian.org                 |           is omniscience hell?
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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