[License-discuss] licenses and software in books

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Sep 6 22:23:44 UTC 2012

Quoting Bruce Perens (bruce at perens.com):

> Nobody ever requested the source code on a CD. Where appropriate, it
> was available for download. If anyone tries to contest that download
> is not an appropriate medium under the terms GPL2, they are doing it
> to be difficult, not to get the source. We would have had the means
> to deal with such a person.


When I worked at VA Linux Systems, one customer attempted to assert this 
right in order to be difficult:  I was very amused to note that he
worked at a 'broadband testing center' for a US Midwest telco.  I said
that although we made full matching source code available at
ftp.valinux.com always, as a courtesy to him as a customer, we would
gladly burn him a set of CDs and that I was immediately putting them in
the mail to him with our compliments.

He came back with an assertion that our being glad to do this as a
courtesy for our customers was not sufficient, that we were also
required to extend the courtesy to any lawful recipient, and that
downloadable matching source code on ftp.valinux.com did not comply.

I respectfully disagreed with his implicit assumption that ftp and http
are not a 'medium customarily used for software interchange',
suppressing in the name of gracious customer-relations my urge to add
'So, what's SourceForge.net?  Chopped liver?'

> We had no power to issue waivers, since we weren't the copyright
> holder of the software.

You'll note that I carefully qualified what I said as applying to

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