On Tue, 2011-02-01 at 12:44 -0700, Tom Callaway wrote:
On 01/31/2011 11:23 AM, Matt McCutchen wrote:
> hey say that
> the copyright holder's actions never "violate" the GPL, at least with
> respect to distribution and modification. This would appear consistent
> with my interpretation that the distribution and modification terms are
> conditions of the copyright license offered to licensees, and not
> licensor commitments.
Except that it is logically invalid. If the copyright holder is not
promising via the GPL to provide the source to those who are using the
Program under the terms, how are those parties expected to pass the
source along to anyone else?
That's too bad for them. Since they cannot meet the conditions of the
distribution license, they cannot legally distribute the software at
all: the license is unusable. This is just a special case of the
principle stated in GPLv2 section 7.
So it is possible to have a work that is licensed under the GPL and yet
cannot be distributed, but this is just a technicality. One would hope
that references to "releasing a work under GPLvX" in contracts and the
like would be interpreted to entail releasing the source, according to
the parties' intent.