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Re: Circumventing the GPL

From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: Circumventing the GPL
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 16:42:26 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Hymen writes:
> A gives specifications to B. B develops the software.  A buys a bunch of
> copies of the software from B and resells the copies to its own
> customers.

I assumed that you meant that A (used to be B) was going to require B (used
to be A) to sell the software only to A as a condition of the contract.
The arrangement you describe above, assuming the description is complete,
is fine.  It also means that B is free to sell or give the software, source
and all, to anyone, including A's customers.  Note that the binary copies A
sells minus source must be the actual tangible copies it gets from B.

> I don't know why you find this concept so strange. This kind of
> arrangement must be ubiquitous in the industry.

I doubt it.  Commonly, B grants A a license and A makes the copies they
need themselves.

> Note, by the way, that this is similar to a model that's often proposed
> for how people can make money from free software. A company pays a
> developer to develop customized free software, but the developer retains
> rights to it and can further develop it for other customers.

The company doesn't get every copy they need from the developer.  They get
one copy (with source) and a license (the GPL) permitting them to duplicate
John Hasler
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA

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