Solved

GNU License case study #2

Posted on 2003-10-30
7
271 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I modified the kernel and then sold the modified kernel.

To one person -  Do I need a license?

To 1000 people - Do I need a/many licences?

0
Comment
Question by:rfr1tz
7 Comments
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:jlevie
Comment Utility
Modified in what way? A change in the code or a change in the configuration? Are you maiking the changes available in source form?
0
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:paullamhkg
Comment Utility
I think will be the same case of your #1 here http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_20783458.html once you fall into the GPL you have to release your source code for public.
0
 
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

by:
Gns earned 150 total points
Comment Utility
For this you'd definitely need provide the source code "free of charge" in one of the forms specified in the applicable license. Making customers pay you for the kernel changes isn't prohibited in any way though!-)
And having an "administrative fee" for repeating the work (applying the same patch) for several other customers wouldn't be prohibited either, since you wouldn't charge for the product (the kernel change), but rather for your time/support.
Also look at the licenses of the 3rd party kernel modules usually provided by some HW vendors... Intel NICs etc...

-- Glenn
0
Highfive Gives IT Their Time Back

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

 
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:pjedmond
pjedmond earned 100 total points
Comment Utility
If your code is part of the kernel code, rather than a stand alone module, then you come under the GPL and you have to provide source code free of charge, and cannot charge for the code itself...HOWEVER, you can charge a consultancy fee for implementing the modification for a customer, and you could also charge a fee for say 'duplicating and delivering a solution' to the customer.

If the code is a seperate module that is 'seperate' and includes no GPL code, then it can come under a licence similar to the 3rd party kernel modules already referred to.

The above applies regardless if the distribution is 1 or 1million units.

Also note that some companies (makers of mySQL) provide the option of buying a commercial licence which would release you from the constraints of the GPL for their bit of the code, and enable you to charge for software that includes this code. This option is not available for the Linux Kernel though.

HTH:)
0
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Gns
Comment Utility
Wasn't this what I said pjedmond?
... Well, perhaps yopu said it in a more intelligible way:-). Thanks for that.

-- Glenn
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:pjedmond
Comment Utility
Well - if you understand what the score is, yes I am duplicating what you said..but take the phrase:

'Making customers pay you for the kernel changes isn't prohibited in any way though'

Can be miscontrued as actually paying for the code, rather than the process of carrying out the change (as a administrative process). Yes -  no doubt some of my answer can be misconstued as well, but until you actually understand the GPL and it's variants, it's very easy to 'misunderstand'...basically because the concept is so different to the 'normal' everyday way of life. The concept of someone making something/providing something, and not having to pay is extremely wierd to some managers - and as a result, it's extremely easy to write something, which may make perfect sense to the individual who wrote it, but be completely misunderstood by anyone else.

As a result, I tried to clarify your comments and put them into context. (nope - I'm not a lawyer/legal specialist, and I'm sure that there ar peopl out there that can clarify these comments even further..then again...I've found that exposing this type of thing to legal specialists can also create added confusion;)!)
0
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Gns
Comment Utility
See you point.Thanks. Total agreement on the potential for confusion;).

-- Glenn
0

Featured Post

Free Trending Threat Insights Every Day

Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

Join & Write a Comment

Setting up Secure Ubuntu server on VMware 1.      Insert the Ubuntu Server distribution CD or attach the ISO of the CD which is in the “Datastore”. Note that it is important to install the x64 edition on servers, not the X86 editions. 2.      Power on th…
In my business, I use the LTS (Long Term Support) versions of Linux. My workstations do real work, and so I rarely have the patience to deal with silly problems caused by an upgraded kernel that had experimental software on it to begin with from a r…
Learn how to find files with the shell using the find and locate commands. Use locate to find a needle in a haystack.: With locate, check if the file still exists.: Use find to get the actual location of the file.:
This demo shows you how to set up the containerized NetScaler CPX with NetScaler Management and Analytics System in a non-routable Mesos/Marathon environment for use with Micro-Services applications.

743 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now