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Re: Lawyer request stop from downloading Debian

On Sun, Apr 24, 2011 at 11:20 AM, Ken Arromdee wrote:
> On Sun, 24 Apr 2011, Vincent Bernat wrote:
>>> The
>>> problem is that on Bittorrent, everyone who downloads also uploads.  This
>>> makes it illegal to download just a binary, since if you do that you're
>>> also
>>> uploading just a binary, and uploading just a binary is a form of
>>> distribution
>>> the GPL doesn't allow.
>> In  the case of  Debian distribution,  the source  code is  available at
>> http://www.debian.org which  fullfils section a)  since it is  a "medium
>> customarily used for software interchange".
> Doesn't work.  You have to *accompany* it with the source code.  Pointing to
> an unconnected third party's site has never been considered to satisfy
> this clause.

How do you reconcile your claim with these sections of the GPLv2 and
v3, both referring to an executable or object-code form of the work?

GPLv2, section 3:  You may "Accompany it with the information you
received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code.
(This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and
only if you received the program in object code or executable form
with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)"

GPLv3, subsection 6e: You may "Convey the object code using
peer-to-peer transmission, provided you inform other peers where the
object code and Corresponding Source of the work are being offered to
the general public at no charge under subsection 6d."  (There is also
a separate clause similar to what GPLv2 has.)

Arguably the GPLv2 clause doesn't apply because Debian is typically
distributed with the source code available on the same "medium"
(server), rather than with a written offer to provide source code, but
I think the spirit -- particularly given the GPLv3's added section to
address peer-to-peer technology, which did not really exist when GPLv2
was written -- would protect a peer-to-peer sharer of Debian.

Michael Poole

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