[Gllug] Some Advice on SUS licencing.

Alistair Mann alistair at lgeezer.net
Sat Feb 7 21:20:03 UTC 2004

Hash: SHA1

Thus spaketh Ian Northeast on Saturday 07 February 2004 2:15 pm:
> David Abbishaw wrote:
> > I'm hoping that someone on here might be able to answer this, I tried
> > asking over at the suse irc room but no one was helpful.
> > Most linux distributions can be run for free with only a small cost if
> > you want support or a cd set, my question is really, whats the deal with
> > SUSE,  can I take a copy of a friends CDs and use it support free
> > without paying SUSE a penny and be legit or am I in the same boat I'd be
> > in if I did the same thing with an Windows XP CD?
> This is perfectly OK as long as he or she does not charge you anything.
> AIUI (s)he is not even allowed to charge for media, but that isn't an
> issue if you supply the CDs or borrow the SuSE ones and copy them yourself.

I believe you are wrong.

The GPL v2 provision 1 clearly allows anyone to make a copy of software 
covered by the GPL and specifically /allows/ you to charge whatever you like 
either for supplying a warranty or for "the physical act of transferring". 

David was right: he can copy his friend's CD, support free, without paying 
Suse a penny. Similarly, David's friend can charge him whatever he fancies 
for handing him that CD, a charge which will no doubt include his costs in 
labour, media, whatever.

The GPL is about software libre, not software gratuit; making a profit on 
Linux is actively encouraged. How else could they fund development?

Best wishes,
- -- 
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