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GNU is Not Unix Open Source Programming News

Emacs Has Been Violating the GPL Since 2009 295

Digana writes "Emacs, one of GNU's flagship products and the most famous software creation of Richard Stallman, has been discovered to be violating the GPL since 2009-09-28 by distributing binaries that were missing source. The CEDET package, a set of contributed files for giving certain IDE functionality related to static code analysis, has distributed files generated from bison grammars without distributing the grammar itself. This happened for Emacs versions 23.2 and 23.3, released during late 2009, and has just been discovered."
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Emacs Has Been Violating the GPL Since 2009

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  • by HarrySquatter ( 1698416 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @11:57AM (#36922232)

    Mod parent up. There is no stipulation in the GPL that source code must accompany any distribution of binaries. Total myth.

    Then you better make sure rms knows this since he's the one apparently pertuating this "total myth". You know, since he was the one who wrote the email saying that Emacs was in violation of the GPL.

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @02:44PM (#36925186) Homepage

    The GPL requires the source to be available, it is, its just not included by default, which is perfectly acceptable.

    No, it isn't available, which is the entire problem.

    If you downloaded the source package for emacs from the repositories of your chosen distro, you would not receive the files in question.

    Again: Many organizations are distributing emacs binaries, but not making the full source available. That's a GPL violation.

    Second, in order for this to be a violation, the authors of said files have to call it a violation

    That's simply not true. If you are not in compliance with the terms of a license agreement, then you are not in compliance with the terms of that license agreement whether anyone knows or cares that you are.

    For this violation to result in legal action the copyright holder has to know and care.

    The only thing going on here is a few people getting their panties in a bunch over nothing.

    It isn't nothing, but it also isn't a huge deal because the non-compliance was accidental and the solution straightforward.

    The response seems commensurate with the issue. Oh Shit we screwed up, but oh well shit happens.

    How about you just ignore whatever few people you see as over-reacting as the outliers they are, and I'll ignore the idiocy you spouted immediately after the last quote up there. Deal?

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.