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SubjectRe: Is the BitKeeper network protocol documented?
On Sun, 19 Jan 2003 17:20:04 -0700, Andreas Dilger wrote:

>I think you are ignoring the fact that this clause (#3) in the GPL
>only
>relates only if "you copy or distribute the Program (or a work based
>on
>it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form".

Here's the problem. RedHat ships the code in "object code or
executable form". This requires them to distribute the source code in
the "preferred form for modifications". The problem is, the preferred
form for modifications might well be Linus' BK tree, which RedHat
might not even have!

>Again you are ignoring the fact that there are other methods by
>which
>the source code is available in the "preferred form", just not quite
>as
>timely as directly from the BK repository (which is itself in a
>form, SCCS,
>which does not require BK to access), and there is nothing in the
>GPL which
>requires that the source be made avaible instantly.

If you assume that live access to Linus' BK tree is the preferred
form for modifying the Linux kernel, then RedHat can't ship a
compiled kernel if they can't give people access to Linus'
repository.

The GPL is nonsense. Lots of people have suffered absurdities
similar to this one in a crazy attempt to comply with it. I think if
the people who *chose* it had to suffer its insanities a little,
they'd think twice the next time they choose a license for their open
source projects.

DS


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