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

At 04:09 pm -0500 on November 30, 2000, Brian Mays wrote:

> Brian Frederick Kimball <bfk@footbag.org> wrote:
> > Think of it this way: each "downloadable entity" that meets the above
> > definition of "Program" needs to have the GPL inside it
> Define "downloadable entity".  This is the problem.  Certainly a binary
> executable or an individual file are both downloadable entities.  They
> can both be downloaded by themselves.

I'm not sure I understand you.  What's the problem?  "Downloadable
entity" is anything that is available to be downloaded, be it .deb,
.tar.gz, .c, etc.

> > (or you need to make sure that each person that downloads the file
> > gets a copy of the GPL from you).
> I don't think that we need to "make sure" that the recipient does
> anything.  The problem is that the phrase, "give any other recipients
> of the Program a copy of this License" is vague.  What does "give"
> mean?  Stallman may intend it to mean that we must force-feed it to the
> recipient.  That tends to be his way.

> I would prefer to interpret "give" as "provide to the recipient via the
> same medium as the program."

That's fine, but...

> Therefore, if a program is distributed on a CD-ROM, the CD-ROM also
> contains a copy of the GPL; if the program is distributed on an
> ftp site, the site also contains the GPL;

Programs on ftp sites are distributed over the net, they are not
distributed over (on) ftp sites.  IMHO the question is what medium
is the work transported over/through during the copying from one
person/computer to another, not what media the work is stored on before
the copying.

> if a file is found in a directory tree, the directory tree also
> contains another file with the GPL.

I don't think a directory qualifies as a medium.

>From WordNet (r) 1.6 [wn]:

         3: an intervening substance through which signals can travel as
	           a means for communication

CD-ROM yes, net yes, directory no.

> > If its a deb, one GPL suffices.  Same with .tar.gzs.  If it's a .c
> > in an unpacked source tree, that too needs a copy of the GPL if it
> > meets the definition of a Program ("contains a notice placed by the
> > copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms of this
> > General Public License.").
> Many (if not most) copylefted C source files contain such a notice as a
> comment in the header and therefore satisfy the definition.  Since such
> a file can be considered a "downloadable entity" (certainly any file can
> be downloaded by itself), then by what you have said above, each file
> must "have the GPL inside it."

Right, _if_ each file is available separately for download.


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