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If the equipment were leased, not sold, would the source code need to be reavealed?
Posted Feb 17, 2004 19:27 UTC (Tue) by Zelatrix (guest, #5163)
The GPL is a licence to reproduce a copyrighted work. Without accepting the GPL, Allnet didn't have the right to make multiple copies of the iptables code.
You can't run off a few hundred copies of a copyrighted work and distribute them, whether you're selling or leasing.
Posted Feb 17, 2004 20:33 UTC (Tue) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
Posted Feb 17, 2004 23:56 UTC (Tue) by ballombe (subscriber, #9523)
Posted Feb 20, 2004 9:55 UTC (Fri) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
Posted Feb 18, 2004 20:44 UTC (Wed) by remijnj (subscriber, #5838)
Posted Feb 17, 2004 22:10 UTC (Tue) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
They must accept the GPL in order to duplicate it beyond fair use of a
copy provided by a distributor, regardless of what they do with it. They
therefore would have to reveal the source. On the other hand, it is not
entirely obvious to whom they have to reveal the code. The GPL says (3,
You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to
give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically
performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the
corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections
1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange
It therefore comes down to a question of to whom you are distributing the
object code when you lease a piece of equipment to someone. If you are
not distributing it to the user, then you only have to offer yourself the
source (although if Allnet sells devices to ISPs to rent to ISP
customers, they have to give the code to the ISPs). However, I think you
are, in fact, considered to be distributing something if you rent it to
The thing about internal use of modified GPL software is that you have to
distribute the source, but you don't have to distribute it to anyone but
yourself, so it doesn't matter much. (You never have to distribute source
to the general public, but people generally find it easier than
distributing it only to the necessary people, who can then distribute it
more widely anyway).
Posted Feb 18, 2004 1:10 UTC (Wed) by laf0rge (subscriber, #6469)
However, if you go for 3b) (the written offer approach), then you have to ship the sources to any 3rd party.
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