What I am asking is: can other people create work / obligations for me to respond to written requests to package up and send some physical media (and collect a reasonable fee, etc.) for the source code of my GPL programs because they have been distributing them without the source even though in my original and current distros I include the source in the downloaded folder that contains the binaries (but in their distro, which could be a much more popular source of download than mine, they don't include the source)?

[For avoidance of confusion, I am referring to others distributing my GPL binaries without alterations and without them creating derivative works. Also, I am not referring to the use of any specific download sites like GitHub. This could be on any sites: mine vs. theirs].

  • 2
    I am not sure what the issue is. Under Section 6 of GPLv3 you are not obliged to provide physical media if you have a download for the source. You could simply point to that server, where you have your code. It would also be an option to request from the other distro to comply with GPL and provide the source code. Mar 2 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


If you did not distribute the binaries in or on a physical product (including a physical medium like a CD-ROM) that was accompanied by a written offer for the sources, then nobody can redistribute those binaries with a written offer in your name.

The initial written offer for source code is only present when you distribute the binaries according to section 6b. The written offer can only be duplicated (on an incidental basis), when someone has received the offer under section 6b and re-distributes the code under section 6c.

Judging by what you wrote, you are conveying the binaries in accordance with section 6d, where the source code is very literally in the same place as the binaries. That leaves for other who want to re-distribute those binaries only two options:

  1. Distribute them in the same way as you do: with the source code in the same package
  2. Host the source code for separate download themselves.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.