Source code distribution for derivatives (Re: Concerns)

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Wed Jan 10 16:25:12 GMT 2007

On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 11:17:30PM -0500, Tim Schmidt wrote:
> On 1/6/07, Matt Zimmerman <mdz at> wrote:
> > Ubuntu is bound by the same requirements to distribute
> > source code, and therefore it will always be available from us under terms
> > compliant with its license(s).
> ...
> > Therefore, David Turner's scenario in the article you quoted (that the
> > upstream distributor will cease to distribute the relevant source code) does
> > not apply to Ubuntu.
> Except in the case that you choose to stop doing so, or fail
> monetarily, or are legally constrained from doing so, or experience
> extended technical problems, or ...

Temporary outages are a fact of life for everyone, and have no bearing on
the legal requirement here.

Regarding arbitrary choice to stop, please see the rest of the message you
quoted, wherein I referred to contractual commitments.

If we were to somehow become permanently *unable* to distribute source code,
the distributor of the derivative would simply need to make other
arrangements, just as they would if their own distribution system failed

I know of no reason why the distribution of source code to meet GPL
requirements should not be shared by a third party where exactly the same
source code is involved.  The derivative is responsible for ensuring that it
remains available, but it's perfectly reasonable for us to lend a hand with
the mechanics of distributing it.

 - mdz

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