Subject: Re: Dual licensing
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 08 Jun 2004 08:08:26 -0400

Marius Amado Alves <> writes:

> >> You said "provided free of charge."
> >>
> >> The GPL says "licensed free of charge."
> >>
> >> See the difference?
> > Not really, but duh to myself. I should know better. Maybe it will
> > come to me in my sleep. Thanks.  (Myself)
> It didn't come in my sleep. Perhaps someone can explain it to me. If
> the disclaimer were for the license itself, I'd understand, but no,
> it's explicitly for the program. And you cannot distribute the program
> without a license attached. So where's the difference, except in
> words? Thanks.

The program is licensed free of charge.  That means that nobody is
required to pay for a license to use the program, or (for that matter)
to distribute the program.  In other words, if you have a copy of the
program, you do not need to additionally pay for the license.  This is
not true of, for example, Microsoft Windows.

However, the fact that the program is licensed free of charge does not
mean that anybody is required to actually provide it free of charge.
In fact, GPL clause 1 explicitly states "You may charge a fee for the
physical act of transferring a copy."

In other words, it is always licensed free of charge, but it need not
be provided free of charge.

If the warranty disclaimer said "because this program is provided free
of charge," then it would not apply in the cases where the program is
sold for a fee.

Your original comment was in response to my statement:

> > Certainly neither the GPL nor the BSD license prohibit sale of the
> > software.

And you said:

> Then they should stop saying "because this software is provided free
> of charge..."

I hope that it is clear that my statement is true, and your statement
is irrelevant since the licenses do not say that.

At this point I'm starting to doubt the value of this conversation.
You seem to be frequently misunderstanding what to me seems like plain
English.  Is this a language problem?  Or are you just trolling?

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