Wine license change

Roger Fujii rmf at
Wed Feb 13 15:59:08 CST 2002

Steve Langasek <vorlon at> wrote:
> > you cannot sell *gpl binaries.  You can sell the media, but not the content.
> > Think sun has a good idea with dual licensing and having assignment of the
> > copyright.  This allows them to change the license so that they can make
> > a productized version.
> Since this is not the first time this mistruth show up in the discussion 
> here, I think a clarification is warranted.

it is NOT a mistruth.  Maybe I should have said, "you are not really selling
*gpl binaries", but the meaning is the same.  By the license, the source
and binaries are freely distrubutable, thus they have no monetary value.
So assuming the people in a commerical transaction don't give something 
for nothing, the monies paid must be for cost of copying, media...

> The second paragraph of section 1 of the GPL (v.2) states:
>   You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
>   you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

How I read that is that you can charge for the _service_ of copying, but you
are NOT charging for the content.

> The only limits that the GPL places on sales is that once someone has 
> received a copy of binaries from you, you can't sell them the SOURCE at an 
> additional cost that's higher than your distribution cost.  Up to that 
> point, you can charge people whatever you want to for access to GPLed 
> *content*.  You just don't have any power to make sure that others don't 
> sell that same content at a price lower than yours, or even give it away.

no disagreement here.   But nothing you said so far contradicts what I have

> And although the LGPL is a different license (which is important to keep 
> in mind when talking about '*gpl'), the same permission is granted by the 
> LGPL to charge a fee (an arbitrary fee) for copies of the software.

you are confusing the what was said.  I did NOT say "you can't charge for
GPLed stuff; they must be distributed free".  What I said was "you can't
charge for the *gpled binaries" because by the license, by section 1,
the receiver can make as many copies as s/he wants (providing it falls
within the *GPL).   The by-product of all this is that the *GPL makes
content "zero cost", thus you can only make money by focusing on something
other than content. 

Another way to look at it is like getting a can of compressed air.  Do
you think you are buying air, or do you think you are buying the process
the compressed, canned and distrubuted the air?


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