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Re: Virtually Zero-Overhead Object Management is neither free software n

From: Anthony Williams
Subject: Re: Virtually Zero-Overhead Object Management is neither free software nor open source software
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 09:59:44 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.1008 (Gnus v5.10.8) XEmacs/21.4.19 (windows-nt)

"Chris Thomasson" <> writes:

> "Chris Thomasson" <> wrote in message
>">  [...]
>> I was thinking of charging a fee for a commercial product and posting
>> full-source code of all the modified GPL code it uses for free.
> Would GPL force me to provide the source code for an entire commercial 
> product?

Pretty much. See below.

> Also, could I could abstract all of the modified GPL software into a
> separate shared library (e.g., and post all of the code for
> free, then create a closed-source commercial product that uses something in
> 'libgplmod' and charge a fee?

If the GPL part is provided in a separate binary for which an
alternative non-GPL implementation can be substituted without recompiling the
main app, you might not have to make the source code for the full application
available. I expect such an alternative implementation would have to be
actually available, and not just theoretically available. I am not a lawyer,
so if you intend to try this you probably ought to get proper legal advice.

> If GPL forces me to provide the source-code of any software that links to
> 'libgplmod' then you would have to rely on the following:
>> Some people are not going to want to deal with the source code; they can
>> choose to pay a fee instead. What they would get from the fee could include
>> the compiled binaries, links to the source code, manual, consulting
>> options, ect...
> in order to many any money...

Yes. That's what some of the commercial linux distributors do --- provide
binaries, printed manuals, support, etc.

You may choose to only distribute copies yourself to people who are willing to
pay (i.e. don't make the source code a public download, but one that's only
available to people who paid for the binaries), but there's nothing to stop
your customers distributing their own versions built from the source code.

Anthony Williams
Just Software Solutions Ltd -
Registered in England, Company Number 5478976.
Registered Office: 15 Carrallack Mews, St Just, Cornwall, TR19 7UL

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