RE: Linksys WRT54G and the GPL

From: David Schwartz (
Date: Mon Jun 09 2003 - 11:53:37 EST

> On Sun, Jun 08, 2003 at 10:32:52PM -0700, David Schwartz wrote:

> > Including the source with the product would be insufficient to
> > meet the GPL
> > requirements. They would have to offer the source (or a written offer to
> > obtain the source for no more than the cost of physically copying it) to
> > everyone who downloaded their software from their web site. The
> > GPL is quite
> > clear that the source code offer must be made to anyone to whom
> > the object
> > code is distributed. (The program must be accompanied by the offer.)

> No, a source code *offer* must be made to anyone, period.


> Section 3(b) of GPLv2 says "Accompany it with a written offer ... to give
> any third party ... [the] source code".

        "Accompany" means two things have to travel together. If I have to
accompany a car with an instruction manual, it does not follow that I must
give the instruction manual to anyone who requests it.

> If the source code is actually distributed with the object code, then
> they need only make it available to those who obtain the object code.
> Of course those folks are free to redistribute to anyone, if they want.

        But the object code is available from their web site. I don't see how you
can accompany a download with a written offer, so to comply with the GPL,
they must "accompany" the object code with the source code.


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