Restriction on distribution by Novell?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Tue Sep 26 21:15:51 UTC 2006

From: "Ben Tilly" <btilly at>
> Well, actually I lie slightly.  That is good enough for most people.
> But RMS insists that paragraph 3 b) mandates that if someone without
> internet access requests shipment of the source on a physical media,
> they get that at the cost of providing that distribution.

I do agree with that. If someone wants a media, Novell will have to search for the sources, download them from the external server where they were stored, and put them on a stable media whose reading is possible according to the most common technologies at the time of request.

And Novell will be allowed to charge for this service with reasonable price for the support itself, for the time to process the request and prepare the media, for handling and for shipping.

3 years seems a reasonable time. But I don't think that Novell has this obligation for everyone that asks them for these sources, if Novell can prove that the requester did not have a valid licence from Novell when Novell distributed the GPLed source. But another consequence of these limitations is that Novell MUST keep an archive of all its past sublicencees for at least 3 years, so that the sublicencees can claim their legitimate limited support rights granted by the GPL.

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