What good is VNC's GPL?
Steveb "at" tshore.com
Fri Apr 8 14:53:03 2005
I misread section 3a and thought it was saying that you could only
charge as much as the working version for the source but it really says
that you can only charge as much as it physically costs you to
distribute the source.
As far as delivering the source, they are obligated to deliver it upon
request. The only option they are given is to charge for the delivery
or not. In the end, though, they are obligated to deliver. Neither
company has delivered to date and Smart code has promised NEVER to
deliver at any cost. That is a direct violation of the licensing terms.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kyle McDonald [mailto:Kyle.McDonald "at" Sun.COM]
> Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 9:40 AM
> To: Steve Bostedor
> Subject: Re: What good is VNC's GPL?
> Steve Bostedor wrote:
> >>Actually, I think you're wrong about them 'oweing' us anything.
> >>The GPL states that they only have to offer, and provide the
> >>sources to the people they distribute the binaries to. This means
> >>theonly people that are 'owed' the sources are the paying customers.
> >>Of course once a paying customer has the source the GPL let's them
> >>do whatever they want with it. So they can give it away for
> >>no-cost if they like and the person they bought it from can't say
> >>a thing. (and they shouldn't come under any reprisals from the
> >>seller for doing so, but that seems to be ignored by the FSF in at
> >>least one case - www.sveasoft.com )
> >>But they *don't have to* give the source to us just because we ask.
> >> -Kyle
> > This has turned into a fun and interesting debate. Now for
> my 2 cents
> > ... Again. ;) They do, according to the section of the GPL that I
> > pasted in a previous email, have to provide the source when
> asked for.
> > In fact, their product must be distributed either WITH the
> source or
> > there must be a visible link on their website to get the
> source. The
> > can charge no more than the cost of their compiled product for the
> > source code but they can not reject requests to purchase the source
> > code.
> Ok. Well, charging no more for the source only than they charge
> for the binary that includes source, is not that different than
> only letting people who buy the binary have the source. I mean
> paying the price of the binary to get the source is just like
> buying the binary with source and then ignoring the binary.
> But reading the GPL snippet in your other message, I don't see any
> text that says 'you can charge no more for the source than you do
> for the binaries'
> Actually a vendor who chooses option A *can* only give the source
> to those who get the binaries by including the sources in with the
> binaries and charging the one price for that.
> > This particular company distributes a free shareware
> version of their
> > software. That free download must, according to the GPL, have the
> > source code with it. It's really all in black and white
> and in only
> > the first few sections of the GPL.
> Option A says the source must be with it, but they're also free to
> choose Option B, which allows them to charge a seperate fee for
> the source at a later time.
> -------------------------ooO( )Ooo--------------------------------
> Kyle J. McDonald (o o) Systems Support Engineer
> Sun Microsystems Inc. ||||| Kyle.McDonald "at" Sun.COM
> 1 Network Drive \\\// voice: (781) 442-2184
> Burlington, MA 01803 (o o) fax: (781) 442-1542