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Re: RE : Re: Linux Magazin Germany, affecting Debian's image?!

Wouter Verhelst <wouter@grep.be> writes:

> On Tue, Jul 18, 2006 at 03:38:32AM -0400, Radu-Cristian FOTESCU wrote:
>> --- Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> a écrit :
>> > the claim that Debian can be downloaded is a simple statement
>> > of fact which just happens to be true as a byproduct of the way
>> > we create Debian, it is not a promise.
>> If I can't trust what I can read on Debian.org,
> You can still download Debian for free from the Internet. The fact that
> there is a certain specific DVD release of Debian that you cannot
> download _in that specific form_ does not change this. Even if you can't
> download the DVD as an ISO image, you can still download everything it
> contains from ftp.debian.org and its mirrors.
> The website does not say "you can download every conceivable version of
> Debian GNU/Linux for free from the Internet". It says "You can download
> Debian GNU/Linux for free from the Internet", which should be read as
> "There are versions of Debian GNU/Linux that can be downloaded for free
> from the Internet". There is a major difference, and it makes your claim
> (that everyone who makes a customized version of Debian must make it
> available for download) false.

On the other hand the GPL, and most packages will be GPLed, requires
that source be available in one of three ways:

3a) include source
3b) accompany it with a written offer good for 3 years
3c) pass through an offer received from upstream

Since Debian gives no written offer for their packages but does 3a the
option 3c can not be used for anyone building their own debian dvds.

So if one does a custom dvd release of debian one must include source
or make and keep it available for 3 years. By that reasoning anyone
distributing only binary images is in breach of the GPL.

My recommendation is to ALWAYS have the option of a source image. If
people don't download/order/pickup the source image along with the
binary one they have only themself to blame. Option 3a of the GPL
should be satisfied by that.


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