Adam Heath wrote:
> On Tue, 1 Aug 2000, Rene Mayrhofer wrote:
> > Adam Heath wrote:
> > >
> > > Please see the comments on freshmeat.net about this. You are illegally
> > > distribution Debian. The GPL does not allow to you be more restrictive.
> > I just posted an reply to this. I really was unaware that it conflicts with the
> > GPL to pose restrictions on the ISO images (only the layout, not the files on
> > it). The copyright now is gone from the FTP server, but I need some sort of
> > protection for the ISO images themselves (not for the contents, I am preparing
> > to upload the Debian source packages) or I will be unable to publish free
> > images.
> Your original licensed implied that the source would be gpl(which is good),
> but the compiled, built iso would not(which is illegal, but I know why
> you said it). You said that no commericial redistribution would be possible.
> The way it was worded makes it apply to the binary versions that someone would
> compile of the gpl'd sources you put online. This is where you problem lies.
> Am I correct?
Yes, you are. It seems that I was unable to express what I meant. The sources
that I wrote and that I will write are fully covered by the terms of the GPL (I
am preparing Debian source packages with everything I wrote specifically for
Gibraltar. When they are finished, I will even try to get them into potato). Of
course most of the programs that I also put on the ISO images are covered by the
GPL too. The content of the image is an installed, specially prepared Debian
GNU/Linux system that has no restrictions on distribution.
What I would like to have is some sort of protection for the ISO image itself.
If somebody takes all the files from the CD-ROM, organizes them in any way and
creates his/her own ISO image, then it's absolutely ok. Because when somebody
does this, it might get me some contributions or ideas on how to improve
And I definitely do not want to restrict the usage of the images in any way.
Non-commercial and commercial institutions should be able to use the images for
whatever they want (if they use it for themselves). The only point that I would
like to have restricted is that some company takes my ISO images, puts them on
CD-ROMs and sells the CD-ROMs without contributing anything. I do not want any
company to make money with my work without Gibraltar profiting in some way. If
somebody sells support for Gibraltar and gives the Gibraltar CD-ROMs away for
free, it's ok, because then he/she will probably find errors, report bugs or
make suggestions for improvements. If somebody only sells the CD-ROMs, it's not
In reality, I want a situation in some way similiar to what OpenBSD does: they
give away everything they write, but sell the CD-ROMs. I want to distribute a
free version of Gibraltar (ViaNova will sell a version with a printed manual, an
extensively enhanced web interface and support) but want to prevent companies
from selling this work that I am giving away for free (hey, it's more than a
year of my free time) without me getting anything.
Another example is Debian itself: There are some restrictions on what can be
done with "official" and "non-official" ISO images (I think only the logo
matters, but the principle is the same). I want something in that direction.
Could somebody please help me with this situation ? I am not a legal expert an
English is not my mother's tounge. This is the first license that I need to
write myself, therefore I do not have much experience.
What can I do to stay compatible with the mostly GPL-ed content of ISO images ?
Do I have the possibility to say "use it in any way, do with the content what
you want but do not sell CD-ROMs produced with the official Gibraltar
> If we both understand the problem here, then, when you reply, I'd like to
> discuss this on email@example.com(send email to
> firstname.lastname@example.org to join). They know best how to word
> things like this.
I wanted to do this anyway but I waited for your reply so that I could be sure
that it was a misunderstanding because of my bad wording.