selling freebsd cd for profit

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sun Feb 28 11:10:39 UTC 2010

Hash: SHA1

On 28/02/2010 01:56:27, Chad Perrin wrote:
> Actually, once your project becomes a commercial enterprise, the GPL
> stops allowing reference to upstream sources to suit the requirements of
> code redistribution.  If you sell GPLed software, you have to provide the
> sources yourself -- and, if you offer the *option* of access to the
> sources without actually ensuring that everybody gets a copy of the
> sources right away, you have to maintain sources for each distributed
> version for a number of years after the last such distribution.  I'm not
> saying you *don't* have to maintain sources that long after the fact if
> you make sure everybody gets a copy right away; I haven't read the text
> of the GPL in detail in a while, and don't recall that specific detail.

Hmmm... I think the concept of 'modification' is pretty important
here.  If you're just redistributing software without modifying it,
you've fulfilled the intent of the GPL simply by giving a link to a
well-known download site.  After all, what's the difference between
that, and your outsourcing a download facility to a service provider
like, say, SourceForge?

If you're distributing /modified/ GPL'd code, then yes, you have to
make your modifications available for download.  Ideally that would be
by donating them back to the core project, but if they aren't
acceptable for whatever reason, then you do have to slap them on a
web/ftp site somewhere.

> Note that I'm not a lawyer, and this does not constitute legal advice.
> My only direct legal advice is to seek legal advice from a professional.

It's a sad world where we have to keep restating the obvious in
disclaimers: anyone believing the advice they get from a bunch of
semi-anonymous people they only know from a mailing list deserves
everything they get[*]. Whatever happened to caveat emptor?



[*] Generally that would be a better result than from much paid-for

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