What you are saying sounds reasonable, and obviously forking and submitting a PR is super common, and it’s either completely legal, or at the very worst it should be.
But distributing binaries is not something that is commonly done in the GPL world, as far as I know. That why some of these cases are harder to fit with accepted GPL practice.
I think I would tend to agree with you, if what you are saying is “it’s ok for modify a plugin by forking it, and the post a binary in the “releases” section of your repo.”
But, be that as it may, I’ve mentioned a number of times that I am specifically asking about two things.
- “Now the case I am wondering about is that the person who ported the code compiles it and puts the compiled plugins in public – let’s say a link on the community site to a Dropbox folder.”
I suspect, and I suspect you do, too, that posting the naked binary on the internet without any link back to the modified github likely violates the terms of GPL. (although this may not really be the case - certainly people are doing this today on the community forum).
The other thing I have asked about several time is “Does this community forum have any guidance or rules around this?”
You may recall that VCV has rules that are sometimes more restrictive than underlying license rules themselves. I’m thinking of the rules that one can’t copy the look and feel of someone else’s module and submit it yourself the the VCV library (whereas you may well be able to do that under the original plugin license).
So, if VCV were to come up with forum rules around the distribution of plugin binaries via the VCV forum, things would be more clear. Purely speculation, but I’m going to guess that at the very least the VCV rules would require you to follow the original license.