Google, why not
Posted May 23, 2007 19:23 UTC (Wed) by man_ls
In reply to: Google, why not
Parent article: A day at the Open Source Business Conference
Against your argument it could seem that modification without distribution is different from distribution, and does not apply here; that is why I can sing my own version of "My way" (my "my way", if you will) in the shower without violating any laws. Well, I don't know about US law, but here in Spain software follows a completely different set of rule than artistic works.
The GPL FAQ is very lax about distribution "within your organization"; you can distribute a program without restrictions within your corporation, non-profit organization, and so on. You will find that copyright law is not so lax; you cannot make "private" copies within your organization, and even the number of personal copies for backup is limited. It has even been argued (this time in the US) that "running" a program is "distribution", since you are making a "copy" in memory of the software. Few people associated with free software want to tread that rute, but it is quite clear that distributing within your organization without a license is a big no-no.
Engineers would be forced to distribute code + patches and modify the original locally, which would not be the most convenient arrangement one can conceive -- even if Google is sure to find a way to automate it complying with the license at the same time. Gentoo could probably use some of those tools... if they ever see the light of day. Sigh. Too circular even for my liking.
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