[DC LoCo] Selling Ubuntu on eBay?

Greg Reagle greagle at citidc.com
Mon Nov 30 22:55:45 GMT 2009

As a side note, what is the expected behavior/etiquette for replying here--I mean reply to
* just the list
* only the individual address
* both the list and the individual address?

I'll step up as a GPL guru (version 2 only).  First let me note that the "free" in "free software" refers to freedom, NOT to price.  Selling GPL software is most definitely legal.  In fact, the freedom to sell copies is one of the fundamental freedoms of "free software" (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).  The opposite of "free software" is proprietary software, not commercial software.  A license that prohibits selling would not qualify as a "free software license" by the FSF.  Furthermore, the FSF actually encourages people to sell free software.  Selling Free Software (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html) says, "Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on."

The Ubuntu CD most probably contains software that is covered by a variety of licenses, so the GPL is not the only consideration.  All the licenses need to be considered.  Does an Ubuntu CD contain *any* software whose license prohibits selling?  I don't know, and that is a very interesting question.
greg reagle | system administrator | 202-234-1600 ext. 353 | greagle at citidc.com
community it innovators (citi) | Twitter: @CommunityIT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ubuntu-us-dc-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com [mailto:ubuntu-us-dc-
> bounces at lists.ubuntu.com] On Behalf Of Chuck Glenn
> Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 10:33 AM
> To: dcloco
> Subject: [DC LoCo] Selling Ubuntu on eBay?
> I see someone selling Ubuntu CDs for $6 on eBay.  I question whether
> this is legal.
> Can any of you GPL gurus give me a definitive answer?  If nothing
> else, it smells.
> Thanks.
> -- Chuck
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