Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: "William C. Cheng" <william@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 21:14:55 -0500

 Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> wrote:
  | William C. Cheng writes:
  |  >   Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com> wrote:
  |  >   |  > Note that EGCS cannot be readily found from the Web site.  Cygnus
  |  >   |  > clearly does not view the project as important to their core
  |  >   |  > positioning.  
  |  >   | 
  |  >   | Maybe you have to pay them money in order to get it?  Just because
  |  >   | software is freely copyable, that doesn't mean that it's automaticly
  |  >   | free of charge.
  |  > 
  |  > I though that under GPL, although the software may not be free, the
  |  > source code is.  So, if a person (not necessarily a customer) asks for
  |  > the source code, you have to make it available free of charge.  Or are
  |  > you only obligated to make source code available to customers?
  | 
  | You are only obliged to make source code available to people who have
  | the binary, and you are not obliged to give either to anyone at no
  | cost.  As the FSF says again and again, "free" software is not about
  | price, it's about freedom.  And as patriots have noted throughout
  | history, freedom is never free (of cost).

(Sorry for going back to this older message.)

It just seems strange to me that if I sell my GPL'ed software to a customer
for $1M, since he has the source, he can simply turn around and sell it to
two of his customers for $0.7M each, and each of them can sell it to their
customers for $0.5M each, etc!  But may be that's the beauty of it (and
every one of these customers makes money).
--
Bill Cheng // bill.cheng@acm.org <URL:http://bourbon.cs.umd.edu:8001/william/>