Alexandre Oliva aoliva at
Sat Oct 4 03:19:16 UTC 2003

On Oct  3, 2003, Bill Anderson <bill at> wrote:

> That is why RH putting the SRPMS on the ftp site is beyond the call
> required by the GPL.

Correct.  If Red Hat ever shipped the GPL components of RHEL without
the sources, putting the sources up for free download and adding a
note to the binaries with the location of the sources would be a way
to satisfy (b), as long as the sources remain there for at least 3
years from the last date of a source-less distribution.  I suppose Red
Hat might even charge for the bandwidth and disk space, as the cost of
performing the copy.  But since Red Hat includes the sources in the
RHEL package, making the source code available for free download is
definitely beyond the requirements of the GNU GPL.

> To put it plainly, if I modify a GPLed work, and give it to my wife, you
> have no right to the modified source code or the program. Period.

If you only give binaries to your wife, they must accompany the
written offer (b).  If your wife gives these binaries it to someone
else, she must ask you for the sources and provide an offer of her own
(b), or use your own offer (c) as long as she's not distributing it
commercially.  Then, this other person can do the same, and, if your
written offer gets to me, I'm entitled to demand the sources from you,
per (b).

When you don't want the obligation of to provide sources to any third
party, you're probably better off with (a).  This obviously doesn't
stop any third party from getting the sources, but at least they can't
demand it from you, so you're free to delete the sources and binaries
as soon as they're no longer relevant for you.  With (b), you have to
keep them around for at least 3 years.

#include <stdIANAL>

Alexandre Oliva   Enjoy Guarana', see
Red Hat GCC Developer                 aoliva@{,}
CS PhD student at IC-Unicamp        oliva@{,}
Free Software Evangelist                Professional serial bug killer

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