GNU GPL and Open Source Definition

Ean R . Schuessler ean at
Wed Apr 28 04:09:00 UTC 1999

On Wed, Apr 28, 1999 at 03:03:11AM +0000, Jeff Alami wrote:
> AT, in Article 3, the GPL states that
> you may sell binaries and executable code at any price you see fit, without
> corresponding source code. If you do so, you're required to provide source code
> at a subsequent request. However, unlike what's said in the Open Source
> Definition, you may also charge for the source code (to a reasonable extent, of
> course). The Open Source Definition Article 2 states that "there must be a
> well-publicized means of downloading the source code, without charge, via the
> Internet."

Actually, this is a bug in the OSD. In developing countries where the
Internet doesn't have good penetration distributing the source code via
the Internet might make no sense at all. The GPL states that you must 
simply provide a well-documented method of obtaining the source code.
This is probably the right and proper way to handle this issue.

Even in the case of US consumers the net may not be a sensible way of
handling distribution. A program which utilized the GRASS data set would
be close to 3 gigs in size and not reasonably downloadable at all. 
Providing the data on a set of 6 cds, however, is both cheap and 

Dictating that the method of distribution _must_ be the Internet does
not make sense.

Ean Schuessler                                                Freak
Novare International Inc.                             Freak Central
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