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Re: MPL and Source Code

Craig Southeren wrote:

Does the NMU end up in the repository eventually? If so, then I don't
see this as a problem.

Merging the NMU into the repository is up to the maintainer (he is, after all, the one with commit access). Given Debian's persistent problems with MIA maintainers, it — unfortunately — does not always happen. Multiple NMU's often go completely unacknowledged by the maintainer.
This is in violation of most Open Source licenses.
For example, the GPL requires source to be available on demand for up to
three years after distribution of the binary by electronic means.

It's been pointed out elsewhere that this is not true. However, to reiterate and clarify:

The GPL gives three *alternative* (notice the "or"s after 3a and 3b) ways to provide source; you may use any of the three you want. Debian picks 3a, which is:

   3(a). Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
   source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1
   and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

This is clarified by the last paragraph of Section 3:

   If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering
   access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent
   access to copy the source code from the same place counts as
   distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not
   compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

And this is exactly what Debian does: We place the binary in a designated place (our FTP servers). We offer equivalent access to the source code from the same place.

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