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Re: Licensing requirements ???

David Schleef <ds@schleef.org> [2003:10:09:17:01:55-0700] scribed:
> On Thu, Oct 09, 2003 at 02:01:36PM -0500, Michael D Schleif wrote:
> > OK, this is my first foray into a sale-able product, based on `free'
> > software.
> Congratulations.
> > I am working with a company that is writing software that is to be sold
> > to their customers.  I have specified Debian as the OS on which this all
> > runs; so, here I am on this list to learn the ropes of `free' software.
> > 
> > Other than Debian, the software uses Apache, MySQL and PHP.
> You seem to say below that you are using the Debian packages for these.

Yes, that is entirely true.

> > My client wants to retain all rights to their software, and is not
> > willing to release their software in any `free' software fashion.
> > 
> > Also, in order to manage problems and maintain SLA's, this software is
> > to be sold as an integral piece of a system -- somewhat of a blackbox.
> > In other words, their customers will pay one basic price, and receive an
> > installed hardware server, on which Debian and software are installed
> > turnkey.
> > 
> > Everything other than the proprietary software is straight DEB
> > installed, so their is no issue of distributing modified `free'
> > software.  However, the MySQL licensing model seems to indicate that a
> > licensing fee is due them; and, I wonder about others.
> I am not aware of any MySQL problems; can you give a pointer to
> what you are concerned about?

Especially Section 3:


> > What are the repercussions to my client, as a result of this model?
> One of the advantages of using Debian is that there aren't many
> reprocussions -- we attempt (but obviously cannot guarantee) that
> you do exactly what you are attempting to do.
> Things you should watch out for, however:
>  - Don't ship anything from non-free or contrib without checking
>    the license carefully.
>  - Don't specifically advertise the software you use, or if you do,
>    make sure this is allowed by the license.  (I'm thinking of PHP
>    here.)
>  - Make sure your proprietary software doesn't link against any GPL
>    libraries.  (Run ldd on the binaries, find the package each library
>    is in using dpkg -S, and check /usr/share/doc/<pkg>/copyright.)
>  - Ship a CD with the source packages corresponding to all the
>    binary packages that you install.  This is to fulfill the GPL
>    source requirement.  There are other ways to fulfill this
>    requirement, but it is _much_ more cost effective to press a
>    CD and include it.
>  - Remember to provide some way (preferably automatic) for customers
>    to install security updates.
> There are other things to watch out for, but you not modifying the
> source of Debian packages, so it shouldn't matter.

Basically, since we are _not_ modifying source to any software, I had
always thought that this is a slam-dunk.  However, once I read that
MySQL page, I have doubts.  Am I misinterpreting it?

By-the-by, nice surname!  Whence comes yours?  In fact, other than thee
`ee', instead of my `ei', yours is my father's name.

Best Regards,

mds resource
Dare to fix things before they break . . .
Our capacity for understanding is inversely proportional to how much
we think we know.  The more I know, the more I know I don't know . . .

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