Re: Solaris 2.6 and Linux

H. Peter Anvin (
28 Sep 1997 17:58:00 GMT

Followup to: <60m33b$>
By author: (david parsons)
In newsgroup:
> >
> >Huh?
> >
> >So you're saying that if I sell automated whatzits, with some fsf software
> >in rom, for something like $99, it'll break my back to offer the source
> >for the software on floppy for another $99?
> It's a pain to do so, particularly if you feel obliged to offer the
> source cheaply.
> The last product I used Linux for comes with all the BSD and GPLed
> sources on the CD-ROM. One of the options I was suggesting, which
> was turned down for staffing reasons, was to charge $1000 for
> sources, because that would cover (a) labor, (b) a CD-ROM burner, (c)
> a CD blank, (d) office charges, and (e) source escrow. And that
> probably wouldn't be high enough if a lot of people called in asking
> for copies of the source.

Okay, here is my take on this issue:

The GPL requires the sources be available:

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
customarily used for software interchange;

Seems to me that in 1997, the Internet would qualify as "a medium
customarily used for software interchange." Stick it on an FTP site
and leave it there for three years. Make a one-line note in your
manual saying "The source code for [some of] the control software used
in this product is available from".
There. Done.


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