They're involved in the distribution
Posted Jul 10, 2007 13:49 UTC (Tue) by dark
In reply to: They're involved in the distribution
Parent article: Microsoft's proclamation on GPLv3
Actually, that word "receiving" which you emphasize so much does not occur
in clause 9 of the GPLv2. That clause simply says "...you have the
option of following the terms and conditions either of that version or of
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation". Now,
when do such terms and conditions apply? Clause 0 sheds some light on
this: "Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are
not covered by this License; they are outside its scope."
Thus, no terms or conditions apply to the act of receiving this software.
They do apply to copying, distribution, and modification. Distribution is
what we are concerned with in your illustrative example. Microsoft
distributes gcc and elects to follow the terms and conditions of the GPLv2
in doing so. If Microsoft distributes to you, it must follow clauses 1, 2,
and 3 (as applicable) of the GPLv2. Once it has done so, it has satisfied
all its obligations to the copyright holder.
Now you receive your copy of gcc via Microsoft. Microsoft has a license,
the GPLv2, for distributing it to you, and you do not need a license to
receive it (as clause 5 makes clear). However, you do have a license if
you want it: clause 6 states that you get a GPLv2 license directly from
the original licensor, in this case the FSF. If you accept that license,
then you get the option under clause 9 of following the terms and
conditions of the GPLv3 instead. Microsoft isn't even involved in that
option, it's an option you get from the original licensor and it covers
your right to copy, distribute, or modify.
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