[Mailman-Users] Commercial distributions of Mailman & GPL

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Sat Aug 28 20:15:21 CEST 2010

On Aug 28, 2010, at 12:02 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

>> I'm tempted to use the FSF lawyers instead of seeing if we can go
>> through PSF, since the FSF lawyers have recently had some fairly
>> public successes, and they might be more inclined to help try to
>> find all the ways in which we can go after them.
> AFAIK much of Mailman is owned by the FSF, and maybe none by the PSF.
> So only the FSF would have standing anyway.

It's currently licensed under the GPL, but as a project written in Python, I wonder if we might also be able to make the case that the PSF lawyers could be brought in.  Even if we could, I would be inclined to go with the FSF lawyers first.

> Technically for GPLv2, a commercial distributor should be distributing
> source on the same media that they distribute the installer, so this
> might not be enough to be in compliance.  But the code is publicly
> available, and realistically, this is as much as we want to ask for.

It's Python, so unless they're doing a pre-compiled bytecode distribution, they are distributing the source on the same media as the installer -- the source is all they've got.  It's not executable code until Python gets its hands on it and turns it into bytecode, and then keeps a cached copy of that bytecode around so that it doesn't need to go through this process again, unless the source is changed.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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