Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th Dec 2009 20:51 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Yesterday, we reported that the Software Freedom Law Center had started a lawsuit against several companies who they claim violated the GPL. The subject of the violation was BusBox, and the SFLC claims it is operating on behalf of the authors of BusyBox. Original BusyBox author Bruce Perens, however, begs to differ.
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RE: Why GPL then?
by umccullough on Tue 15th Dec 2009 22:02 UTC in reply to "Why GPL then?"
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

GPL is not suitable for business- every self declared Software "Freedom" Law Center can harass you, your client and your derivative work on behalf of developers who are paid for their consulting work by so called "violators".


While I don't totally agree, one thing in the slashdot comments that caught my attention was the assertion that someone who buys a product containing GPL code and then re-sells it is responsible for passing on the license text and source code to the next buyer.

This provides an interesting problem for retailers and used-product sales...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Why GPL then?
by Macrat on Wed 16th Dec 2009 01:20 in reply to "RE: Why GPL then?"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27


While I don't totally agree, one thing in the slashdot comments that caught my attention was the assertion that someone who buys a product containing GPL code and then re-sells it is responsible for passing on the license text and source code to the next buyer.

This provides an interesting problem for retailers and used-product sales...


No, the GPL only says that you have to make the source code available.

You can do that by putting it on your web site, or even by including it on the CD.

Not a problem for retailers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Why GPL then?
by umccullough on Wed 16th Dec 2009 02:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Why GPL then?"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

You can do that by putting it on your web site, or even by including it on the CD.

Not a problem for retailers.


Ah, right, so simple. So when I buy a TV containing GPL firmware from Walmart, they should be providing me with the source code before I leave the store...

I suspect they have absolutely no clue whether or not the products they're selling contain GPL code or not - would you reasonably expect them to know this? Would you reasonably expect some guy selling a (potentially used) TV on Craigslist or Ebay to know he must provide the source for it as well? What if the original source is no longer available (> 2 years after original purchase date), and he cannot locate it.

These are new issues for me to consider - now I must be more mindful when re-selling anything using GPL software in the future.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Why GPL then?
by Beta on Thu 17th Dec 2009 13:54 in reply to "RE: Why GPL then?"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

This provides an interesting problem for retailers and used-product sales...


Not really that interesting… Let’s take an example: most games produced now that use external libraries choose to put copyright texts in the intro sequence, probably the most annoying place for it. But what if they put it on a piece of paper inside the case, like they do now with GPL notices? That paper could be lost, and then once the game is resold, it no longer bares the licence texts. Exact same issue.

Manufacturers would solve it if they included the notice in the product (System About menu?) and if they included a CD in the first place. If you read the GPL, it’ll give suggestions for methods of supply. Most choose the latter, allowing customers to contact them for it. and that causes most of these issues :^)

Reply Parent Score: 2