Licensing question about GPL/LGPL binaries

Gabor Kovesdan gabor at
Sun Feb 25 14:27:08 UTC 2007

Ted Mittelstaedt schrieb:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Jeffrey Goldberg" <jeffrey at>
> To: "Kövesdán Gábor" <gabor.kovesdan at>
> Cc: <freebsd-questions at>
> Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 9:02 AM
> Subject: Re: Licensing question about GPL/LGPL binaries
>> [freebsd-emulation cut from cc]
>> On Feb 23, 2007, at 5:53 AM, Kövesdán Gábor wrote:
>>> The question is that can we extract and provide these binaries in a
>>> simple tar.gz file or is that considered a GPL/LGPL violation? The
>>> sources are freely available on, but we are not sure
>>> doing so is legally correct. What do you think about this?
>> Gábor,
>> What you plan to do is perfectly fine under the GPL as long as
>> (1) What you distribute is under the GPL license
>> (2) You let people know where they can freely get the source
>> (3) You don't take credit for work that isn't yours.
> Jeffrey,
>   Kovesdan is not modifying the binaries or the sources, thus there is no
> need for him to GPL license his distribution - the files in his distribution
> already carry their own GPL license.  He just needs to include all of the
> files, which by GPL requirement, are going to include a copies of the GPL
> licenses that are applied to those files, as well as instructions as to
> where
> to get the sources.  He does not need to further apply some kind
> of 'overall' GPL license to his distribution.
>   It's a similar issue as someone running an FTP server with GPL software
> on it, they are merely serving as a venue for the distribution.
>   It's a fine point to be sure, but an important one espically as the FSF is
> aiming to have multiple, incompatible, versions of the GPL floating around.
> Ted

Thanks for the answers to both of you. We just modify the packaging of 
the file: gzipped tarball instead of floppy images, so it will be fine 
to redistribute them with the pointer to the sources then.


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