Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Aug 2006 09:09 UTC, submitted by anonymous
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The cipherfunk web site, which made extra packages available to Ubuntu and MEPIS users, was shut down in response to complaints from Ubuntu team members Matthew Garrett and Philipp Kern. It is my understanding they alleged that cipherfunk was not making modified GPLed source code available in a timely fashion. You can read about it the website." "Well, the GNU GPL states as part of Section 3 of the licence that I must provide source code on request for no more than the cost of physically performing the distribution. Given that the host this box is on actually costs me 110.95AUD every 30 days to run, 9.90AUD, as nice as that is - still will cost me over 100AUD to distribute the code at all." Update: As Matthew Garret pointed out in the comments, he wrote his side of the story on his blog.
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RE[2]: Good grief.
by JonathanBThompson on Fri 25th Aug 2006 11:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Good grief."
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

It sounds quite like he had to (or felt he had to) include a huge amount of surrounding source code to what he fixed, based on the statistics on the site. Tell me: have you actually done much software development on a large project? I just did a check on the Haiku source code versus the generated binaries, and guess what: the source code was more than 3 times the size of the binaries! While the source code will likely zip at a better compression ratio than the binaries, it won't zip *that* much, and the source code is still very significant, even with zipping.

What he *should* have done to reduce bandwidth overhead is distribute only the zipped up diffs: if someone is truly serious about using the source code for whatever reason, surely they have the ability to get the code that the diffs refer to, and apply them themselves. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that wouldn't violate the license terms, though a lot of people would be rather displeased about having to actually think about the whole thing and do an extra step ;) I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that 99% of the people demanding the source code distribution did it purely for the sake of testing his compliance with the terms of the license: most sane people that aren't overwrought about their machines getting the absolute top performance by applying compiler optimizations are satisfied with working binaries, especially if it takes a lot of time to do a build. Heck, here's a thought I love that he could have done: hired someone to copy all the source onto floppies and have those mailed via standard mail, one floppy at a time, to all those that request and pay for it ;) As long as it were "at cost" it would be perfectly valid, right??? Right??????

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Good grief.
by zerblat on Fri 25th Aug 2006 11:14 in reply to "RE[2]: Good grief."
zerblat Member since:
2005-07-06

If the extra bandwidth cost of hosting source code was the issue, he could have used Sourceforge or Savannah or Berlios or any other free hosting solution.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Full source, not diffs
by preater on Fri 25th Aug 2006 11:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Good grief."
preater Member since:
2005-08-31

What he *should* have done to reduce bandwidth overhead is distribute only the zipped up diffs: if someone is truly serious about using the source code for whatever reason, surely they have the ability to get the code that the diffs refer to, and apply them themselves.

No, you have to distribute complete source. This is covered in the GNU GPL FAQ:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DistributingSourceIsInconv...

Charging $4.95 for a download of binaries and source was OK though.

I don't see why Cipherfunk could not just include a written offer for the source along with the binary-only download he made available for i386. Is an extra few KiB of text really that much more painful to host?

Reply Parent Score: 2