Business use of VNC

Jonathan Morton chromi "at"
Thu, 14 Jun 2001 23:07:36 +0000

> Say that someone wanted to make a business that used VNC as a tool to 
> help determine what was wrong with a customers PC and fix the problem 
> through VNC.  Say also that they charged a fee for this service.  For 
> every customer that was brought aboard for this service, the customer 
> would be given an executable of VNC and they were also given a link to 
> download the source files of VNC from the businesses servers.  Would 
> this business be violating the GNU license in any way, shape, or form?

Simple answer: no.

The text of the GPL states that you may redistribute GPL'ed software in 
any form, provided you also provide an undertaking to also supply the 
sourcecode for all GPL'ed software you distribute in other forms.  If 
the source is not actually bundled with the executable, you must provide 
an undertaking valid for 3 years to supply that sourcecode.  If you 
believe your business FTP servers will be stable for that long, go for 

Charging for GPL'ed software is allowed, provided you don't restrict the 
recipient from distributing the software in any way they see fit.  
Charging for services rendered using or in respect of the software is 
also allowed - Tridia support VNC packages which they build, enhance and 
certify themselves, and Red Hat et al charge for "supported" versions of 
their Linux distributions.

from:     Jonathan "Chromatix" Morton
mail:     chromi "at"  (not for attachments)
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