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Source code question

26 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

The free speech and free beer is a confusing quote from Richard Stallman because actually GPL codes is meant to be both. GPL means you can access the source code, change it, spin off your own

software from it and not have to pay anyone for it (at the same time you can't charge for it since it's not fully your code). The $20 is for burning the CD, posting etc which is allowed. That

said I'm not sure if the android kernel is fully GPL compliant (see http://www.computerw...el-gpl-licence/).

Then there's the issue of v2 vs v3 versions of the GPL (v3 being a lot more agressive to avoid the likes of Tivo not having to release their code).

Anyway, once someone has a copy of the code I would assume nothing would prevent them from posting it online.

I feel like I have to respond to this old thread, because lot of people here have wrong idea about GNU General Purpose Licence (GNU GPL) and you are wrong.

Richard Stallman's quote is not confusing, its actually very straight forward and correct. GNU GPL code is free/libre (as speech) in meaning, that you can take someone else's code and change it, you can redistribute it or sell it, you can use part of it in your own code... there is ONLY TWO demands, the result you make is GNU GPL as well and you make source code available to everyone who might/will use your result. It's not free (as beer) because YOU CAN sell it... for whatever you ask for. There is many commercial GNU GPL projects, lot of them doesn't even concern you, because they are developed only between two subjects (example: developer company#1 making some kind of managment system for another company#2... using someone else's GNU GPL code in their work => their code must be GNU GPL as well => they sell that system to other company#2 and must give them source codes too (but only to them), company#2 is now independent on developer company#1, so they can ask developer company#3 to modify their source code for lower price than company#1 is willing to take, in the end that means there is low risk of vendor-lockin).

You can go to the extreme, take Ubuntu, rename and rebrand it, change one line of code in Linux kernel, rename it to Lynux... and sell it as completly new OS for $1000 a piece. Noone will buy it, because its stupid marketing, but you can try... you are free to do so.

Otherwise there would be no laptops and mobile devices (or routers, refridgerators,... etc.) with Linux systems... why? Because you wouldn't be able to sell it with that system on board... it doesn't matter you ask money for hardware only, you are still making money of it.

So GNU GPL doesn't have to be free (as beer),... but usually is.

Edited by SolitaryCZ

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