[Mailman-Users] GPL Issues (was Re: query re "message has implicit destination"(devils advocate!))

stephen at xemacs.org stephen at xemacs.org
Fri Sep 1 19:20:50 CEST 2006

Dragon writes:

 > Bretton Vine did speak thusly:

 > >I don't think there is any obligation for someone who changes the source of
 > >a GPL product to give the changes back to the original developers, [...]
 > ---------------- End original message. ---------------------
 > There is such an obligation explicitly defined in it within section 3 
 > that states that source code of any derivative work MUST be provided 
 > either as part of the actual distribution of the work or upon request 
 > to ANY third party that requests it. Section 2 also plays heavily 
 > into this situation.

Bretton's right.  Satisfying *any* of 3a, 3b, or 3c means you are in
full compliance with section 3.  If you distribute source as part of
every distribution you make, you are under no legal obligation to give
source to any third party.  That includes upstream.

BTW, I was quite surprised at the way you construe 3b; I've always
assumed "any third party" was a reference to recipients of non-source
distributions under 3c.  But IANAL and I'm often enough wrong---you're
probably right.

 > Thus by either passively ignoring or actively refusing requests for 
 > source, Apple, Plesk and CPanel are in direct violation of the GPL.

cPanel seems not to be.  Definitely not at the installation Todd
Zullinger has access to.  I would not be surprised if both Apple and
Plesk are similarly in full technical compliance.  Especially Apple,
since Steve Jobs has not had very good luck with trying to violate the
GPL in the past. :-)


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