Re: web hosting providers' modified .debs
On Jan 24, 2008 10:48 PM, Ken Arromdee <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote (off-list):
> Maybe I'm missing someone, but in this scenario, isn't it the user who logs
> in, not the administrator, making the copy? The administrator wouldn't
> be conveying anything since he's not copying. The user is distributing
> someone else's software to himself, which might be illegal, but would not
> obligate the administrator.
The definition of "propagate" in GPL v.3 is quite broad, and includes
not only copying but "making available to the public" and so on. So
the administrator will almost certainly be "propagating" the work.
Propagation in itself does not lead to any need to provide the source.
That obligation applies where the propagation takes the form of
"conveying", which means "any kind of propagation that enables other
parties to make or receive copies". Again, this is much broader than
just being the one who does the copying.
So if the admin makes the binary accessible by means of a remote
shell, then they're "propagating" the binary. If they make it possible
for users to create copies of that binary then they are "conveying",
and this means they need to make the source available.
> (Unless you want to argue that the administrator, merely by leaving the file
> readable, is encouraging the users to copy it. Which leads to absurd results
> in other cases.)
As outlined above, the definition of "conveying" does not require the
admin to *encourage* users to copy it, merely to "enable" them to do