RMS has picked up the second point of my GPL v3 draft 1 comments (yes, I’m sure a lot of other people made it too), and it will now be permissible to allow source download for binaries distributed on physical media.
However, we’re now considering a major change in this policy. The coming draft of GPL version 3 will propose a new alternative allowing, for the first time, distribution of binaries on physical media and providing the source code over the network. This will require a commitment to keep the corresponding source code version available on a network server for three years.
Does “providing the source code over the network” explicitly require some sort of quality guarantee of the “available”?
Also, does “providing the source code over the network” mean a direct link to the source code (not easy, since it likely is more than a single file (unless it’s in a .tar or similar open-source archive format), or (potentially) click-thru via multiple advertisement-laden pages or only via a proprietary compression archive format?
Middle ground is via an ftp site in .tar.gz format, but I don’t think a liscence should get bogged down into the details of distribution.
We’ll have to see what language they come up with. I’m confident this can be well-worded to achieve the right thing.