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Re: Intellectual Property II

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: Intellectual Property II
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 22:49:48 +0100

Terekhov likes to quote material without having actually read it
himself.  Wallace more or less claims that the GNU GPL allows for
price fixing, more exactly, that it requires all parties to distribute
copies of GPLed software for no fee.  This is obviously false.

Wallace bases his claim on Sectin 2(b), which states:

  2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
     of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
     distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section
     1 above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:


       b. You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that
          in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program
          or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge
          to all third parties under the terms of this License.

What does this mean exactly?  It means that you cannot impose any
extra restrictions on the work that would make it impossible for third
parties to redistribute the work ("You are not allowed to redistribute
this program to other people unless you pay me 100 USD in license
fees" or similar extra restrictions).

It has nothing to do with charging for the act of distribution, which
is stated in section 1:

     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.

Which allows me, as the author of the Program, to charge a fee, and it
allows people who bought the CD's containing the Program, to do the
same thing; if they choose too.

I'm not a lawyer, but I am atleast capable of weilding a very powerful
sword called "Reading", which Wallace and Terekhov are unable to.

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