On Sun, Nov 13, 2005 at 05:38:59PM +0000, Philip Hands wrote:
> You should be careful not to give the impression that you are charging a
> license fee though -- you are allowed to charge a fee for the copy of
> the programs, or for the service of installing them, but not for the
> licenses (in the case of the GPL software at least, which covers most of
> the software in question)
My understanding was different.
Indeed, in GPL you are only allowed to charge for the price of the physical
copy (the CD, the shipment cost) when you are asked to provide the sources
after you already delivered the program (e.g. in binary format).
But initially (before you have not delivered any part of the program), you
can charge any price for the program, as long as you obey with GPL and only
relicense the program under GPL to the customer.
So, in my understanding, I could offer for sale a modified version of
e.g. the Linux kernel at a high price, as long as my customer received
it under GPL with all its right and duties. So I am selling a "license"
to use the kernel, as long as it is licensed under GPL. I would not need
to offer "services" to make my offering priced higher than the physical
costs of the medium.
On the GNU page that you quoted:
"...Selling a copy of a free program is legitimate, and we encourage it..."
I think this is clearly selling a "license" (in casu a GPL license) to the
program and not associated with selling additional installation services.