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Re: Distributing GPL software.

Daniel Carrera writes:

> Michael Poole wrote:
> > As GPL section 3(c) indicates, you may use that option if you were
> > given a written offer to provide source *and* your distribution is
> > "noncommercial".  You have given no hint whether your distribution
> > could be considered commercial, and the GPL is unfortunately vague
> > as to what it means by "noncommercial distribution".
> These CDs are for the SCALE conference (Sourthern California Linux
> Expo). I was thinking of selling the CDs at like $1 to recover the
> cost. I guess that constitutes "commercial" use :(

My guess is that this would be noncommercial, but if you want legal
advice (advice you can cite on if someone complains) you need to get
it from a lawyer, which I am not.

> If by "written permission" the GPL means "paper", then I certainly
> don't have that :(  If written can be "electronic" I'll check the
> distribution to see if it has that.
> > The catch is that when you download a GPLed executable, you usually
> > have "equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place",
> > which satisifes section 3(a) but is not a written offer under 3(b).
> :(
> Does that mean that all the people selling Knoppix CDs for $2 are
> breaking the law?

I suspect not, but except in egregious cases, I try not to come to
legal conclusions about either tort or criminal liability.  That kind
of thing is better left to those who are paid to do it.

Michael Poole

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