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Copyright: Restrictions on selling with hardware?


I took a look at the mgetty copyright (currently main), and it says:

   You are permitted to redistribute `mgetty+sendfax' freely, modify it,
include it in other programs, ..., as long as you don't make profit
directly out of selling `mgetty' (see below), include the complete
`mgetty' source, and do not remove my name. If you distribute a
modified version, or include `mgetty' code in your projects, mark it
clearly as such ("... *derived* from `mgetty+sendfax' by Gert Doering")!

So long very similar to Artistic License, at least the term I marked.


   What I mean above with "as long as you don't make profit directly
out of selling `mgetty'" is: it is perfectly OK if you get paid for
`mgetty' support, or if you distribute `mgetty' among other goodies on
a CD-ROM collection or whatever, but if you sell `mgetty' bundled with
a faxmodem as "unix fax package" or "with unix software!", or if you
start selling `mgetty' with only minor enhancements for lots of money,
I want a share. If in doubt, just ask me.

This seems to fail the dfsg, but the dfsg only says:
1. Free Redistribution

The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate
software distribution containing programs from several different
sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee for such

Note the term "component of an aggregate software distribution". It does not
say that the license have to permit that it can be sold with hardware.

Please note that Gerd really has the best intentions, as he continues:
   In any case, if you don't like the restrictions in this license,
contact me, and we can work something out.

   This license expires, that is, two years after release date, a given
`mgetty+sendfax' release falls into the public domain, and everybody is
absolutely free to do with the code what he wants.

But now there is to consider, that perhaps we will have a problem if vendors
want to sell hardware with linux. The dfsg says nothing about this, only
about the use of the software (has to be permitted on all hardware).

This are really special cases, but they are not covered by the dfsg, or are

Waiting for comments...

"Rhubarb is no Egyptian god."        Debian GNU/Linux        finger brinkmd@ 
Marcus Brinkmann                   http://www.debian.org    master.debian.org
Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de                        for public  PGP Key
http://homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/Marcus.Brinkmann/       PGP Key ID 36E7CD09

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