selling GPL sources

Guilherme C. Hazan lista at
Tue Sep 20 13:42:00 UTC 2005


>> This makes sense. But suppose the author just want to use GPL, not a 
>> weird license. Or lets suppose that someone else but the author gets the 
>> GPLd software and asks for a fee of the sources. Without any other 
>> assumptions (such as this doesnt make sense bc others can give the 
>> source for free), will this be illegal?
> Guilherme:
> Make up your mind.  Please state what the situation _is_.
> If you are just conjuring up a flurry of hypothetical imaginary
> situations -- contrary to your initial statement that you're "aware 
> of a program that uses the GPL license and the author made the binaries
> free but not the sources", then please clarify that you are doing so.

Well, both statements are true. I would like to distribute the binaries 
for free, and part of the sources (the vm part) for a fee. This happens 
because we're releasing a new version that will have an advertisement 
saying "this GPL version does not allow closed-source development" in 
our GPL distribution (we have both LGPL for people that pay and GPL for 
community users). But, if we release the sources for everyone, as we 
currently do, then people could just recompile the vm without the 
splash. (i'm completely aware that someone could buy and do it, but this 
makes things more dificult)

So, we would like to charge something for people to download the 
sources. As my first impression regarding the GPL license, this would be 
illegal, but then i had found a software that was doing exactly that: 
giving the binaries, and selling the sources. Unfortunately, i had 
searched here and could not find that software again.

Also, this distribution cost is somewhat strange. If the distribution is 
the internet, is it right to charge 100usd for it?



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