Is this better for tomsrtbt?

Tom Oehser tom at
Sun Apr 22 14:08:45 UTC 2001

> > about 2 years.  Now, guess what file is currently in use
> > on the MuLinux distribution?  Yep, the 432,684 byte one I created about
> > 2 years ago.  Now, the author of MuLinux does *not* mention that he used

> This is the foundation of LGPL which libc uses. They have the right to do
> this and you can not stop them from doing that as long as you are using
> (L)GPL:ed software and make modifications to them.

Of course, I could just be a prick and ask him for the source code.

I don't in point of fact believe that maintainers of distributions
that grab binaries are actually keeping track of where the binaries
came from.  I did not in fact make changes to the source, all I did
was play with Makefiles and config.h files and compiler options and
stripping tools, so he could in fact just provide me any boilerplate archive and it would be the source that qualifies as
'the program', but, unless he in fact is tracking where each one of
the binaries came from, how does he know that?

Am I required to provide the *exact* makefile and config.h and compile
settings that would reproduce the 432,684 object?  I can't do that, I
have since improved it down to 416,361, and I am *NOT* keeping an RCS
log of every single config.h and CCFLAGS condition that existed!!!

For that matter, the GPL requires me to provide source for 3 years
after I distribute something.  Now, it has been 2 years since I
distributed it.  He is redistributing it now.  What if, 2 years from
now, someone asks him for the source!  *He* is required to provide it,
after all, it is within the 3 years since *he* distributed it.  But,
*I* am no longer required to have kept it around.  So, if he doesn't
bother to get the source code from where he got the binaries within
3 years, he may be stuck in a situation where he is breaking the GPL
and I am past the window where I have to help him.

What about versions?  If I distributed the "ls" program from fileutils
version 3.13 2 years ago, do I have to be able to provide the source to
exactly 3.13 now, or is 3.14 still 'the program'?  I assume I have to be
able to provide the source to *exactly* what I distributed 2 years ago.
Now, it adds *enormously* to this if someone is *redistributing* that,
and they *didn't* get the source code from me 2 years ago.  It means
that if someone wants the source from them, they'll either say 'sorry,
I dunno where it came from' or they'll say 'maybe it came from tomsrtbt
or slackware or something, ask them'.


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