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Re: Distributing GPL Software as binary ISO

On Thu, Jul 18, 2002 at 08:04:03PM +0200, Martin Schulze wrote:
> Steve Langasek wrote:
> > >  4. What would be the proper way to solve this problem if a) or b) are
> > >     not in complience with the license terms?

> > Are you asking what A and B should do if they wish to bring themselves
> > into compliance, or are you asking what can be done to legally force
> > them to?

> I'm asking what A and B should do to bring themselves into
> compliance.  I don't want to sue or attack entities.  I would like to
> document the required behaviour somewhere, though, so entities know
> what their obligation is if they are repackaging and redistributing
> the Debian system.

Once A or B has distributed GPLed binaries in this manner without the
source, the offense is there, and they are vulnerable to a lawsuit
because of the license violation.  C.f. the widely-publicized MySQL
court case.  Assuming all parties are acting in good faith, which has
tended to be the case in the Free Software community, it is probably
sufficient if A and B take steps to ensure that all further distribution
of binaries complies with the GPL.  If A or B knows how to reach some or
all of those they distributed binaries to commercially, as an additional
show of good faith they might send a copy of the sources to these
recipients as the GPL originally required them to do.

The best remedy, however, is still to avoid violating the GPL in the
first place; while I believe that most authors of Free Software are
willing to forgive innocent mistakes, neither Debian nor anyone else can
protect A and B from a lawsuit if this turns out to not be the case.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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