[ILUG-BOM] GPL related clarification sought

Devdas Bhagat devdas@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Tue May 10 15:05:12 IST 2005

On 10/05/05 01:53 -0700, Abhishek Daga wrote:
> At this site:
> http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Networking-Overview-HOWTO-2.html
> I came across this.
> Linux has been copyrighted under the terms of the GNU General Public License
> (GPL). This is a license written by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) that is
> designed to prevent people from restricting the distribution of software. In
> brief, it says that although money can be charged for a copy, the person who
> received the copy can not be prevented from giving it away for free. It also
> means that the source code must be available. This is useful for programmers.
> Anybody can modify Linux and even distribute his/her modifications, provided
> that they keep the code under the same copyright.
> Questions
> a) Does that mean I can buy 1 copy of SuSe/Xandros/RHES/ and distribute it as
> many times as I want?

RHES is distributed under a specific (FSF approved) contract. Ask your lawyer
for information on the specifics.

> b) Some Linux distros have the system of activation keys. Is that in
> violation of GPL terms? 
> For Instance, if I am required to activate my Distro online then logically the
> same activation key will NOT work for the copies of the distro? Which
> therefore prevents me from giving it away for free?
Again, ask your lawyer for advice.

> So is the original statement on that site itself interpreted incorrectly
> or I am reading it out of context?

This deals with the specifics of copyright and contract laws, and as
such, the best person to answer this would be your lawyer.

Devdas Bhagat

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