GPL: implications for FreeBSD-on-hardware for sale?

Paul A. Hoadley paulh at
Sat Apr 10 00:45:20 PDT 2004


For a certain niche market, I am considering selling a software
application by pre-installing it on a small machine running FreeBSD,
and then selling the whole thing.  Are there any implications arising
from the GPL (or other more-restrictive-than-BSD licensed) code in the
tree?  Would it be arguable that I was, in fact, selling only the
hardware and my own software application, and giving away the (GPL-
and BSD-licensed) open source software for free?  I presume that the
GPL would require me to at least make the source code of the
GPL-covered parts of FreeBSD available on request (Section 3(b)),
given that I would not be including the FreeBSD source code (it simply
wouldn't be required) in the installation.

This bridge must have been crossed before.  Does anyone have any
experience here?


mailto:paulh at
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