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Re: Boot CD and terms of use

On Sunday 15 March 2009 15:33:23 Oliver Schneider wrote:
> > IANAL and TINLA, but you will probably only need to provide 
source for
> > software that appears on the image that was licensed to your 
> > under the LGPL or GPL.  Those licenses give a number of 
options for how
> > you can satisfy the requirement to provide source.
> Well, as far as I know a "pointer" (e.g. hyper link) to the 
source is
> sufficient unless it's a modified version of the GPL'd product. 
Also, we
> could for example offer a download of all source DEBs from our 
> zone as well. This is kind of pointless though, because it would 
> more sense to offer the tools (scripts) to create the image and 
> those tools use an existing installation of Etch or Lenny, for 

Distribution of binaries built from GPLv2 source is covered by 
section 3 of that license.  The relevant options are:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable 
source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 
1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software 
interchange; or, 
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three 
years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your 
cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete 
machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be 
distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium 
customarily used for software interchange; or, 
c) 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.)

Usually, this prohibits "simply" providing a "pointer" to the 
source code.  The other versions on the GPL and the various 
versions of the LGPL have similar clauses, though the wording is 
different. Option a is certainly not a "pointer"; option b can 
only involve a "pointer" if your organization and guarantee that 
pointer works for 3 years (if you use someone else's server and it 
goes down permanently after a year, suddenly you are in violation 
of the GPL); option c may or may not be applicable to you.

(I'm not sure if Debian's distribution method counts as option a 
or option b, but I'd be inclined to say option a, since the 
official Debian machines distribute the source code along-side the 
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