3 years can now be longer - as long as you distribute the code...
Posted Jan 26, 2006 23:23 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata
In reply to: 3 years can now be longer - as long as you distribute the code...
Parent article: Suits and Patents: A Report from the GPLv3 Launch Conference
valid for at least three years and valid for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model,
This was mentioned at the launch event as a way to prevent people who continue to distribute modified versions for more than three years to escape their obligation to provide source code in this format.
The three years in (in both GPLs) is from the time of the distribution of the object code copy in question, not the time the first copy was distributed to someone else. So this has always been covered.
What's not covered in GPLv2 is where you give someone a router containing a GPL control program and 4 years later he demands the source code. Under GPLv2, you can say no. Under GPLv3, if you are still answering questions about the router and selling replacement power cords for it, you must say yes. (Under both, if you gave the user a firmware upgrade last year, you must say yes).
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