Hoary Repositories (binary / source)

James Wilkinson ubuntu at westexe.demon.co.uk
Tue May 10 12:07:41 UTC 2005

Andrew Zajac wrote:
> The GPL requires that the source code be made available.  By providing
> packages for the source and the binary, not only do you get the binary
> and the source, but the ability to build the package, too.  If you
> only had a tarball somwhere, it would not be easy to automate the
> building of packages.

The GPL (v.2) says:

# The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
# making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source
# code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
# associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
# control compilation and installation of the executable.

I Am Not A Lawyer, but I believe that a .deb or RPM package counts as a
derived work in itself (so if a program in it is GPLed, the package
itself has to be GPLed). And that means that if you distribute binary
packages based on GPLed works, you really need to provide the preferred
way of creating those packages.

The requirements of other licenses vary: BSD and X, for example, do not
require source to either the program and the package.


E-mail address: james | Who knows what evil lurks in the database?
@westexe.demon.co.uk  |     -- The megahal program, trained on my quote file.

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