Restriction on distribution by Novell?

Matthew Flaschen superm40 at
Tue Sep 26 22:58:15 UTC 2006

Wilson, Andrew wrote:

> What about GPLv2 /is/ clear (he asked rhetorically?)

Amen, though I'd have to carry that to GPL3

 > Suppose the original
> distributor says "originals only, no copies accepted"
> on the written offer?  I believe a distributor is allowed
> to do this.

I still think this is very dubious.  It's an offer to all third parties, 
not a coupon.  The physical paper shouldn't matter.  Rather, the offer 
is making a promise and that promise has to be kept for anyone with 
proof (a verbatim copy) of it.

> On the other hand, if you post binaries on your web site,
> then /you/ have to provide sources to your
> distributees, don't you.

If it is non-commercial, no.  He can use option 3, which is "Accompany 
it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute 
corresponding source code."  This phrasing, "information", implies that 
the original copy is unneeded; a duplicate certainly meets this 
requirement.  If non-commercial re-distributors could provide a 
duplicate, but duplicates were invalid for actually getting source, 
non-commercial distributors would be effectively denying their users 
source.  This is definitely NOT the intention of the FSF, and is 
contradicted by the rest of the license.  The "information" term may 
even mean I was right after all that knowledge is enough (but this is 
the last I will argue this).

Matthew Flaschen

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