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Re: GPL Violation
- From: DJ Delorie <dj at redhat dot com>
- To: rwcitek at alum dot calberkeley dot org
- Cc: cygwin at cygwin dot com
- Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 19:25:53 -0500
- Subject: Re: GPL Violation
- References: <20030220230040.GA21982@redhat.com><20030220230040.GA21982@redhat.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Lawyer? Three years? We don't even have funds to buy pizza and
> beer let alone a lawyer. We are not in the software distribution
> business. That's what Red Hat is for. That is why I buy and
> recommend Red Hat.
If RedHat distributed cygwin under GPL 3b, then you could redistribute
that CD under 3c without needing to escrow sources. But RedHat
distributes under 3a, so you do not have the option of 3c. Heck, *we*
don't like the overhead of keeping track of sources for three years
> Our LUG is in the business of getting a bunch of techies together to
> swap stories, ideas, food, drink, and software. To that end, we
> just want to have something that our members can share with their
> friends and play with.
A worthwhile purpose, but irrelevent as far as the GPL is concerned.
You are distributing GPL'd binaries. You must distribute the sources
(either through 3a or 3b) also.
> And if they want updates, support, or sources, they should call Red
Unless you have a contract with RedHat that says that they agree to
serve as a CD-ROM distributor for you, the GPL doesn't allow you to
rely on us to provide sources for binaries you distribute. In fact,
the version of cygwin we distribute is different than the net version,
so we won't have the right sources anyway.
> >> but also encourages the members to go to the primary repository
> >> (cygwin.com) for the sources.
> >The GPL forbids this. It allows *actual* costs, but no more. But be
> >fair to yourself - figure out media costs, hours spent, shipping,
> >overhead, etc.
> This can be quite significant. That's why I said hefty.
The GPL allows the price to be whatever actual costs are. If it
actually costs you a million dollars, charge a million dollars. What
you can't do is artificially increase the fee just to discourage
people from asking, or to profit from each sale.
The GPL is quite clear on this: "for a charge no more than your cost
of physically performing source distribution,"
> Imagine if I put out a new CD a week with updates and tweaks. This
> turns into a major headache to keep track of which sources went with
> which CD, especially for three years.
That's why most people (and I recommend this) just put the sources
right on the CD with the binaries. GPL 3a is the least complex of
> But if I'm required to maintain all those CDs, I want to be
> compensated to make it worth my time and effort.
That is allowed by the GPL. The actual cost of paying someone for the
labor required is certainly an actual cost, as is (I think) the actual
overhead costs to escrow the sources. Is the LUG paying you by the
hour for the time you work for them? If so, then the actual costs for
your time may be passed on to the buyer.
> That is, from the few people that request the sources, I want to be
> able to quit my current job and retire from their payment.
Well, assuming you can retire on getting paid to be a disk copier for
a few hours. It would be cheaper to hire a student to do it part
time. I don't think artificially inflating your hourly rate would
make it past a judge ;-)
And if you're doing it yourself on your own time, then you're not
paying anyone, are you?
> My goal is to get more developers involved in Cygwin by showing them
> what Cygwin can do. Giving them a CD with pointers goes a long way
> to that end.
"Getting involved" is more than just using the software. It also
involves understanding the principles behind Free Software. It's
important to comply with the GPL so that you can teach others about
the GPL by example.
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