Mats Lidell <matsl(a)xemacs.org> writes:
>>>>>> Stephen J Turnbull <stephen(a)xemacs.org> writes:
> Stephen> You're sure they distribute those files?
> I checked what was in the respective repositories. Isn't that
Yes, according to copyright law. A copy was made for the purpose of
conveying to another person, and this copy was authorized by the
owners of those repositories.
David Kastrup writes:
Not really. The tarball is the distribution.
No. True, that's what the Emacs project thinks of as "the"
distribution, but that won't cut any ice in copyright court. A
repository is clearly a derivative of the original work, and conveys
copies to anyone who can access it. A public repo is also clearly "a"
distribution under copyright law.
A publicly available repository is likely a legally grey area.
Perhaps under the GPL it is, but that would be a GPL bug. A repo is
an automated device for conveying copies, no more and no less. A
public repo is therefore a device for distribution.
It is perhaps true that a repo that is supposed to be private and
whose address leaks and is accessed by an unauthorized party would not
be a "distribution" by the repo's owner, but if so, it would be a
copyright violation by the unauthorized party.
It will be a major mess if some lawyers figure this out as a
suitable playground because it would mean that you not just need to
remove problematic files, but also remove any history of them.
Indeed, and this is one reason Larry McVoy gives for why he is not
afraid of git stealing his (paying) customers.
This is a major reason why git is my weapon of choice: you can
efficiently and straighforwardly do such surgery on a git repo with
filter-branch. This is the kind of operation that would majorly suck
if you had to do it in Bazaar.
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