[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Gibraltar

On Wed, 2 Aug 2000, Rene Mayrhofer wrote:

> What I would like to have is some sort of protection for the ISO image
> itself.

Umm.  Why?  If you allow redistribution (which you must, because YOU are
distributing based on permission granted you by the GPL), why restrict
what is probably the most benign form of redistriution?

> 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
> Gibraltar.

What if someone takes all the files on the CDROM, adds one file, and
creates her own ISO Image?  And then a third someone takes that image,
removes one file, and creates HIS own ISO image?  Is someone in violation
of your license?  

It seems to me that allowing a modified distribution logically demands
that you allow an unmodified distribution.

> And I definitely do not want to restrict the usage of the images in any way.

Except the use of "burn onto CD and give to someone, perhaps in exchange
for a fee" ;)

> 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.

Selling CDROMs of free software IS contributing.  It makes it easier for
the end user to acquire the software.  It's morally equivalent to
adding a trivial front-end install script and distributing the result.

If you like, consider it "bundling the software (ISO image) with the
hardware (CDROM) that stores and transports the bits".

> I do not want any company to make money
> with my work without Gibraltar profiting in some way.

Bizarre.  And contrary to the spirit of free software.  And not even what
your license does.  You seem to want to prevent anyone but yourself from
profiting by the distribution of CDs that contain your product, but are
happy to have users profit by the use of your product.  Neither
contributes to Gibraltar.  Why restrict one and not the other?

Fundamentally, if you want to profit from distribution of your software,
don't call it free.

> 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 ok.

What if they sell "support" in the form of a guarantee that they'll
replace the CD if it's a defective burn?  Or in the form of a jewel case
to hold the CDROM?

> 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.

Important distinction - they ALSO allow others to sell/copy/distribute the

> 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. 

Is this purely motivated by jealosy?  You don't make any money when I pay
my ISP so I can download your ISO.  You don't make any money when I give
my friend 5 beers to download and burn it for me.  You don't make any
money when I buy it from Joe's Free Software Clearing House.  I can't see
the difference from your perspective.

> 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.

You can use similar restrictions as Debian.  That does not inclue a
restriction on distribution, whether for profit or not.

> 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 ISO-images" ?

I suspect (and hope) you can't stay compatible with GPL software if you
restrict distribution of the collection.  If your work is seperable from
all GPL stuff in such a way that you can simply treat your work as
no-charge proprietary software, you can write whatever license you want,
but it's not free software, and it's not GPL-compatible.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

Reply to: