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Re: The Show So Far

Glenn Maynard <g_deb@zewt.org> writes:

> So, someone does this to a GPL library, which was intended by the author
> to have source be available to anyone using it.  However, now you're linking
> against it without actually having been given a copy at all; just a reference
> to some generic interface, and a URL to the running implementation.  Since
> you never got a copy, nobody has any obligation to provide you with source.

The author might have intended that the library be used only by
non-bigots, but he can't put a no-bigotry clause in the license and
still call it free.  

Nor is it clear who is the "user" of a library.  Is it someone who
issues commands to the library?  Hrm, no.  But that's the only
definition recently proposed for "user".

Is it the person who uses the program that links against the library?
Or is it rather the person who links a program against the library?
Perhaps it's the person who writes a program, intending that it be
linked against the library.  All three of these are commonly called
the "user of the library".

The GPL guarantees source to none of these, because the GPL guarantees
source to *people who have copies*, not "users".  It happens that
frequently the user is a person who has a copy, and so of course, the
author might have (with some fuzzy idea of user) conflated that with
the possessor of a copy, but the two are distinct concepts.


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