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

Marek Peteraj marpet at naex.sk
Sat Apr 10 15:02:30 UTC 2004

On Sat, 2004-04-10 at 15:18, Simon Jenkins wrote:
> Marek Peteraj wrote:
> >>Please help me out with this: I thought we just had to make the sources
> >>available (they will be available on our or via our web site), return
> >>any changes we make to the developers (we haven't changed much but we
> >>have contributed back to the Wine project, for instance), and not change
> >>or remove the copyright notices from the source (which of course we
> >>won't). 
> >>    
> >>
> >The safest bet is to do the following:
> >
> >1. Don't restrict access to object/executable 
> >and also provide a download for corresponding source-code
> >at the same place on the website
> >(by doing that you'll be providing it to any third party and
> >accompanying it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
> >source-code on the website)
> >
> There's no obligation to make the object/executeable generally available.

There is as the the name of the GPL implies. See my previous (longer)

I think it's common misunderstanding of the GPL that a company only has
to make the GPLed sw available only to its customers.
It's technically possible, imagine a situation where the company
wouldn't provide d/ls of the software being used in their product. In
that case, the company would distribute(in the product!) the executable
with the product only to its customers. But that again doesn't mean that
only customers be allowed to ask for the source-code in case of a given
written offer.
The important thing to keep in mind is, if you provide d/l of the
software which is GPLed means it should be available to anyone who views
the site which offers that, hence 'any third party', 'general public'.
Again, see my previous post to see why this is important.

> Distribute it to as many or as few people as you like.
> >2. Also either include the source-code on a CD shipped with the product
> >which contains the object/executable that is run in the product(or make
> >a written offer where it can't be missed, which is harder), or if you
> >don't ship such CD, make a written offer in the manuals.
> >  
> >
> Yes: Distribute the source, or a written offer to provide the source 
> code, valid
> for three years. (If you also make the source available by FTP then 
> maybe nobody
> will ever order a physical copy).
> But also (important):
> 3. A copy of the GPL licence itself must accompany the executeable!

Right, but you raised an important point here. The case of GPLed
software being used in a product. If no CD with the software is
provided, then the GPL license should accompany the product in a printed
form, either included in the manuals with a wirtten offer or separately.
At least in that case.


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