[cc-licenses] Parallel Distribution Statement

Francesco Poli frx at firenze.linux.it
Wed Nov 29 17:50:45 EST 2006

On Wed, 29 Nov 2006 12:41:52 -0500 James Grimmelmann wrote:

> Rob Myers wrote:
> > At the moment of initial distribution. The GPL requires that source
> > be  made available for longer (if we must use that comparison), and
> > why.

No, the GPL (v2) gives mroe than one option (see section 3.): roughly
(a) accompany the binary with source (or make available source from the
same place as the binary, even without forcing anyone to download it)
*or* (b) accompany the binary with an 3-year offer to give anyone source
(at cost of distribution) *or* (c) pass on the offer you received (only
if you distribute in a non-commercial manner).

Hence there are three possible ways to comply with the license, and only
the first one is a free restriction.  I mean: if (a) didn't exist as an
option, the GNU GPL would include a non-free restriction (that is to
say: (b) OR (c)).

So, if you choose to make the source available at the time of the binary
distribution (option a), you then have no other obligations in the

> This is an important issue.  If you think that the parallel
> distribution  clause should be rewritten to require longer
> availability more  explicitly, that's a great topic to discuss.

Taking what I said above into account, I don't think that introducing
such a restriction to the parallel distribution proviso would be a good

> That said, my understanding of the GPL's availability clause is that
> one  can either "accompany" the work with source (and thus, the
> availability  can terminate immediately) or offer to provide source
> for three years  (still well shorter than many of the "all
> unencumbered copies have been  lost" scenarios being offered to argue
> against parallel distribution).

It seems that your understanding is right: see above.

But it is also tradition that times *must* and always
do change, my friend.   -- from _Coming to America_
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4
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