Re: Solaris 2.6 and Linux

Andrej Presern (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 01:18:30 +0200

Jeffrey B. Siegal wrote:
> Raul Miller wrote:
> > 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?
> I never said it would "break your back." I said it is sufficiently inconvenient (in
> a commercial setting, inconvenience is synonymous with cost), in many cases, as to
> make Free Software effectively more expensive than commercial software which doesn't
> come with these strings attached. (And not all commercial software is expensive;
> some, while still commercial, is quite inexpensive.) There is a cost associated
> with _offering_ the source code, and continuing to offer it, that may not be
> recoverable from the cost of source distributions because: 1) GPL limits the price
> charged for the media to a "nominal charge for the cost of distribution," and 2)
> there is no guarantee that a sufficient number of source code distributions will be
> sold at any price.

You're not obliged to give source away and ship it and install it and..
free of charge. You just have to make it available if someone wants it
(and is willing to pay the costs that duplicating and shipping involves).
The source is free, but duplicating and shipping isn't and that's what
you are allowed to charge. Number of copies is irrelevant, because you
are already covering the costs that you have with each and every copy
you distribute. And you can't charge $10000 for the source on a floppy
simply because it doesn't cost $10000 to stuff a bunch of ascii files on
a floppy or cd or whatever (and if the customer insists that the source
be dictated to him over the telephone bit by bit and the costs of doing so
are $10000, then it IS ok to charge $10000 for the source distribution).