[CoLoCo] GPL Issues with Xandros

Neal McBurnett neal at bcn.boulder.co.us
Wed Nov 7 18:31:08 GMT 2007

On Wed, Nov 07, 2007 at 11:08:31AM -0700, David L. Willson wrote:

> I don't think Jim adequately pounded on this point: Not everyone is
> entitled to the four freedoms with a GPL package, only those that
> have legally obtained the package are entitled to the four freedoms.
> Sometimes, that legal acquisition includes payment.  GPL (or 'free')
> does not always include free-as-in-beer.  Counterpoint: freedom from
> price, like a free beer, or a free magazine subscription, or free
> admission to an event, does not always include freedom from
> ridiculous licensing terms.  Although GPL products are usually
> available "for free", there is no requirement for them to be so.
> Free, in the case of free software, means "free to use, study,
> modify, and redistribute" but not necessarily to "acquire without
> payment".

I think that is all mostly true.  And sometimes trademark and patent
issues come up in some jurisdictions.

But the point of the "viral" nature of the GPL is that any of those
folks that did obtain the package are free to pass it on for free,
so you just have to find someone willing to do so to get it for free.


> On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 21:08:30 -0700, Jim Hutchinson wrote
> > Anything that is GPL'd only has to be made available in source code.
> > They do not have to package their OS for free use. You can download
> > anything that is GPL'd and rebuild the OS (or all the GPL parts at
> > least). They do have a link to the source code. You just have to
> > search really hard to find it.
> > 
> > http://www.xandros.com/support/source_code.html
> > 
> > Jim
> > 
> > On 11/6/07, Michael TheZorch Haney <thezorch at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > I think there's a rather serious issue with the Linux distro Xandros and
> > > the GPL.  It is a Linux OS thus it falls under the GPL yet you cannot
> > > freely download a copy of it nor is there any way I've seen to obtain
> > > the source code.  The only way to get it is to buy it or get a 30-day
> > > limited free trial version.  These are clear GPL violations and I am
> > > wondering why they haven't been challenged over it yet?

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