On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 5:39 PM, Matt McCutchen <matt(a)mattmccutchen.net> wrote:
On Sat, 2011-01-29 at 16:40 -0500, Tom Callaway wrote:
> On 01/28/2011 09:11 AM, Matt McCutchen wrote:
> > AIUI, purporting to release a work under the GPL does not oblige the
> > licensor to provide the source.
> I disagree, especially given that the licensor is claiming to be the
> sole copyright holder and they are distributing the work.
> GPLv2 ties the right to copy/distribute the Program with the requirement
> that the distributor either distribute it with the source code (3a) or a
> written offer for how to get the source code (3b) (there is a 3c here,
> but it is less relevant here).
> So, distributing (aka, "releasing a work") under the GPL absolutely
> obliges the licensor to provide the source to recipients of the Program
> (usually the binary).
With all due respect, I don't think so... Assuming the licensor is the
sole copyright holder as they say, they have the exclusive right of
distribution under copyright law. They don't need a license to
distribute the work however they please. They are not infringing anyone
else's rights, so no one would have any cause to sue them.
They might have 'cause' but they likely wouldn't have standing, at
least for a copyright case. One might make the case that's the license
is truly a contract, and that by not living up to the terms of the
contract they could be sued (e.g. a simple tort case) however the
thing that I repeatedly here is 'what is the consideration which is
given to consummate the contract'?, and since libre software is often
given away gratis, many argue there is no consideration, and that
makes pressing a case more difficult.
Of course IANAL.