Expert VNC - An Independent Review
Mon Jun 2 19:18:01 2003
Jessica Blank said:
> Not to be an annoyance, but shouldn't ANYONE trying to make $500 a pop
> selling a fork of RealVNC immediately fall under suspicion of violating
> the GPL? Folks who respect the GPL generally don't pull tricks like that.
No, selling a product doesn't immediately mean they are violating the GPL.
From the GPL FAQ:
"Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money?
Yes, the GPL allows everyone to do this. The right to sell copies is part
of the definition of free software. Except in one special situation, there
is no limit on what price you can charge. (The one exception is the
required written offer to provide source code that must accompany
A VNC related example of this is Tridia. They have made some edits to the
VNC source and released those back to the community as GPL. Their main
product, though, is closed source. This product provides a front end for
managing VNC installs, etc. Since it is a separate executable that just
calls the GPL VNC via command line switches it does not violate the GPL.
Getting into a war about selling code and the GPL shouldn't be anyones
focus. Instead we should be concerned that someone is violating the
licenses that VNC has been released under. If "ExpertVNC" chooses to sell
a product based on VNC that doesn't violate the GPL license then more
power to them. Maybe they will need some changes to VNC in the future
that they will release back to the community and everyone wins.
Unfortunately it sounds like they are violating the GPL (I'm willing to be
proved wrong...) and should release their current code and decide if they
want to continue developing it under a GPL license or rewrite it so it
doesn't violate the GPL.