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Re: Knoppix and GPL

On Mon, Apr 28, 2003 at 11:30:43AM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
> > Technically, I'm not even actively distributing any software at any time.
> > The mirrors are downloading and distributing it without any action
> > initiated by me. Or magazines publish Knoppix, in some cases even
> > without asking me.
> Well, in that case you are distributing Knoppix.

That is your interpretation. You may call it a "passive distribution",
if you like.

> Other people then
> redistribute it.  For this, if you just make the source available from
> the same place that the cdimage is available, then you're fine.  It
> sounds like you already have everything set up to burn source CD's.
> Why don't you just put up an image of that?  Then you wouldn't have to
> bother with the 3-year warranty.

And all mirrors would immediately stop mirroring Knoppix because of
space and traffic reasons, and there will be no magazines distributing
GNU/Linux because non of them would be willing to comply to a).
This is not a valid solution, IMHO. The GPL was not designed to make it
hard to distribute software, but to make it easy to get the sources for
people who want them. The latter is, thanks to the internet, no problem
anymore today.

> You can still keep the three-year offer as a courtesy.

That's what I'm doing.
And I see no reson to duplicate another Debian source mirror with
the exact same sources that are already public available everywhere

> The problem is
> that you have to have available, three years from _now_, whatever is
> on your website _now_. 

"Now" would be the point-in-time that you called "distribution" [by me]
above, which I call "build date" because it's the date of the release.
All other versions are redistributions, due to your definition.
Technically, it would be their job to provide the sources in case
someone asks.

> That is a bit of a pain for you.

It IS a pain for me, but currently I see no other way that is
convenient for distributors and users AND compliant with the "literal
interpretation" of the GPL that some people seem to prefer rather than
the way it was meant to be.

-Klaus Knopper

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