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Re: Problem with LARGE files

In message <FFB3F56A-195D-4E02-828F-180E7748B2C1@comlab.ox.ac.uk>, Chris Jefferson <chris.jefferson@comlab.ox.ac.uk> writes
Would it be reasonable to request someone had to spend £100 on an external hard disc and postage if they wanted to request the "source" to my program? and is there any way I could ever get such a program into Debian? Perhaps a different license?

The GPL allows you to charge for the cost of distributing source. If you state up front that "if the customer wants source, it's provided on a hard disk and costs £100", I can't see a problem.

Indeed, if it's that big, and impractical to provide on DVD, I can't see a problem if you *don't* state that up front.

Of course, if you charge £100, you'll get the "gratis software police" moaning blue murder that it's not "free" but the GPL (and *F*ree Software) isn't interested in that sort of argument. At the end of the day, the GPL allows you to recover reasonable costs for distributing source, and if you say that the only reasonable way to distribute that quantity of source is on hard disk, then they have to pay for it if they want it. And you can say to them "well, you put it on a free download site then. I don't care!". Unless they've got more money than sense, or are desperate to flaunt their "gratis" credentials, they'll back off sharply!

Anthony W. Youngman - anthony@thewolery.demon.co.uk

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