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Re: [PROPOSAL] Full text of GPL must be included



On Thu, 30 Nov 2000, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> I have an idea: we hack gzip to automatically decompress a particular
> coding sequence to the text of the GPL.  Then all we have to do is
> force people to use our hacked gzip (screw up the magic in our header)
> and we don't have to use any additional space in the distribution.
Ah, this gave me a chuckle. I thank you. ;)

> In all seriousness: I think this issue is a red herring.  If RMS
> really cared about this, he would have gone after Red Hat (or
> Slackware or SLS or sunsite.unc.edu) years ago.  If people use our

A rather good point here. No OTHER distributions have a copy of the GPL in
all of  THEIR GPL'D things. However, I am willing to be that EVERY linux
user in the world who is right now using a DISTRIBUTIONED linux has a copy
on their system. Those not using a distribution will have the source to
said files. RMS's is just being his regular Nazi-GNU self here.

In the Real-World application, though, installing 300+ copies of the GPL
is absurd, and, quite frankly, a waste of space. Which seems the only way
to satisfy him.

A challenge to him is, instead of bickering about HOW we distribute the
GPL, find a way that he thinks works in a system like ours, and tell us
that he thinks that is fair, keeping in mind that one copy installed per
gpl'd program is a horrendous waste of space.

Debian is to be an Operating System Distribution, and most likely the most
modular one there is. Therefore, Debian packages are meant to be used as
part of a debian-based system, all of which include the gpl.

> packages outside the system that we control, there is little we can do
> to make them obey the licensing terms or read the GPL.  Besides, I

Apparently, people agree with this concept. We really shouldn't have to
worry about how people use the individual package. As a community, we
provide the system, and packages meant for that system.

> can't see how anyone using any Linux distribution could not have a
> copy of the GPL somewhere on their system; locate shows 13 files
> called COPYING on my woody system at work, all of which are instances
> of the GPL or LGPL, 9 of which are part of Debian packages (including
> Netscape, libtool, automake, and XEmacs).  This of course excludes
> /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL.


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