[linux-audio-dev] [OT] Linux, audio and the breach of GPL

Jan Depner eviltwin69 at cableone.net
Fri Apr 9 22:16:27 UTC 2004

On Fri, 2004-04-09 at 14:54, Dave Robillard wrote:
> Putting the source up on an FTP server (provided it's publically known about  
> and announced and whatnot) is fine, you just need to include an _offer_ to  
> mail a CD with the source code.  Noone is actually going to order it anyway if  
> it's on FTP.
> I'd say suggesting this (including the offer) to companies is a better idea  
> than saying they need to include a bunch of crap on their distribution CD's,  
> or even worse an entire seperate CD (which costs money, and thus pisses  
> companies off).
> I'm as militant a GPL nazi as you can get, and personally I think putting the  
> code up on a FTP server follows the spirit of the GPL nicely.  In fact, not  
> having the source code for download would constitute a pain in the ass IMO.
> But technically yes, the offer (or a source CD) should be included with the  
> product.

I agree completely.  The relevant quote from the GPL FAQ is this:

    "You're supposed to provide the source code by mail-order on a
physical medium, if someone orders it. You are welcome to offer people a
way to copy the corresponding source code by FTP, in addition to the
mail-order option, but FTP access to the source is not sufficient to
satisfy section 3 of the GPL."

    "When a user orders the source, you have to make sure to get the
source to that user. If a particular user can conveniently get the
source from you by anonymous FTP, fine--that does the job. But not every
user can do such a download. The rest of the users are just as entitled
to get the source code from you, which means you must be prepared to
send it to them by post."

    "If the FTP access is convenient enough, perhaps no one will choose
to mail-order a copy. If so, you will never have to ship one. But you
cannot assume that."

    "Of course, it's easiest to just send the source with the binary in
the first place."

The important point is "if someone orders it".


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