[buug] GPL & selling preconfigured machines
jammer at weak.org
Fri Aug 16 07:27:26 PDT 2002
On Fri, Aug 16, 2002 at 02:17:50AM -0700, Mark Hedges wrote:
> Will the GPL get in the way of me buying old computers, rigging
> them with Linux and then selling them as cheap Internet stations?
> I know I cannot charge on the invoice for the operating system,
> but can I charge a labor fee for setting it up? How's that work?
> Thanks for any info... --mark--
Actually, you're largely incorrect. The GPL posts no stipulations about
not being able to charge for GPL-licensed code. Otherwise, how would Red
Hat, SuSE, and the like stay in business?
The key stipulation of the GPL is that you must make the source code
available to whomever you give/sell/lend/etc binaries to. Since you'd be
distributing unmodified software, for which source code is already
available, you really don't have to worry about that.
You can charge $1,000,000 for your specially configured Linux
distribution. However, there's nothing stopping someone from grabbing
all your upstream sources and cloning it. You can retain copyright on
things you create wholly on your own (like any special configuration
tools or scripts and the like).
There's plenty of documentation on the web about what the ramifications
of the GPL (and other open licenses) are. Google is your friend.
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