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Re: defining "distribution" (Re: A few more LPPL concerns)

On Sun, 2002-07-21 at 22:40, Boris Veytsman wrote:
> > From: Jeff Licquia <licquia@debian.org>
> > Date: 21 Jul 2002 20:34:32 -0500
> > You're right, and there may be software you can't install on your AFS
> > drive in this instance, because you're "distributing" software to those
> > thousand computers.  This is irrespective of whether any of those
> > thousand computers actually execute the software or not.
> > 
> > This could even apply if you have a license to the software; it may be
> > OK to install the software in /usr/local/bin, but not in
> > /afs/campus/foobar/bin.
> > 
> > For GPL software, you just have to make sure that any of the
> > thousand-or-so computer owners can get to the source for those
> > programs.  The easiest way to do that would be to export the source
> > trees via AFS; they could also stick a written offer in their student
> > handbook, or whatever.
> > 
> Exactly. If you are installing GPL'ed software in this manner, you
> must satisfy the distribution conditions of GPL. In the same manner
> you must obey distribution conditions of TeX and LaTeX.
> My point is, LPPL or Knuth's license is no more restrictive *in this
> respect* than a meaningful interpretatation of GPL.

Your original point, way back in the thread, was:

> I think that a sysadmin that put
> a changed copy of latex.fmt in the $TEXFORMATS directory to be used by
> his users, *distributes* a changed LaTeX. You think he does not; the
> problem with your theory is that it undermines both the intentions of

The problem with this is that the GPL disagrees:

> Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
> covered by this License; they are outside its scope.   The act of
> running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program
> is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
> Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).

It's crucial to your point, therefore, that there not be a distinction
between running the program from /usr/local/bin or /afs/whatever/bin.  I
think we've shown that this isn't the case, since a sysadmin does not
need to give source to every person with a login on his box, but does if
he exports the program via AFS.

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