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Re: Providing source for .iso files downloaded using bittorrent

"Marcelo E. Magallon" <mmagallo@debian.org> wrote:
>  Now, back to the Debian case, Bradley seems to think that
>  providing a method to download the source (e.g. apt-get source)
>  is not enough.  If I understand it correctly, he's saying we
>  must do something extra to comply with GPLv2§3: a) provide the
>  source *in* the .iso; b) provide a written offer and all that;
>  or c) show that we have a written offer from upstream.  a) is
>  not going to happen, we don't have c) in the general case so b)
>  it is (from his point of view).

I do not think that Debian, itself, has any problems.  The GPL says

  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.

Debian distributes both the source and binaries from its worldwide
mirrors.  Even though it may be technically more difficult to get the
source, Debian is still distributing the source from the same "place"
(Debian mirrors).

The case for the Bittorrent users, on the other hand, is less clear.
Since the users are dependent on the Debian tracker, you could argue
that they are merely acting as agents of Debian.  Anyone setting up
their own tracker would have to distribute both binary and source.

Walter Landry

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