[linux-audio-user] ebay guy: looks like he figured it out

Kai Vehmanen kai.vehmanen at wakkanet.fi
Fri Dec 5 15:17:20 EST 2003

On Fri, 5 Dec 2003, Daniel James wrote:

>>> So we could be talking about at least US$50,000 profit that this
>>> guy has made selling 'free as in beer' software.
>> How is this any different than the guys who sell 16 Linux distro's
> Audacity is a trivial download. There's no benefit to having it on CD 
> by itself. 

But he is also doing _marketing_! Even if developers would not see any of
the money, this activity will positively affect Audacity's market share
(more users!). And this again will also help (now and in the future) other
parties (maybe the developer team if they decide to go into business)
selling Audacity in various forms (CDs, support-packages, books, courses,

Even if we consider the absolute worst case of how GPL software can be
legally used - name changed, no links to original developers except
copyrights, etc - there will still be a lot more people who are accustomed
to the UI. This is valuable when the dev-team starts selling CDs...

In this specific case, the only potential problem is whether GPL rules are
followed.  Until someone buys the CD, and reports that there are no
sources included, nor a written offer for the sources, we have no grounds
for complaints.

Btw; as for the worst case scenario - I don't think it's possible 
     completely hide the origins of a GPL'ed program without violating 
     the license terms. GPL 2.c) says:

    ""c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
    when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
    interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
    announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
    notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide
    a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under
    these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this
    License.  (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but
    does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on
    the Program is not required to print an announcement.)""

    ... so if a program prints a copyright notice, you are not
    allowed to remove it. Or at least that's how I interpret the above.:)

 Audio software for Linux!

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