Sale of "free" stuff on eBay

From: Paul Koning <>
Date: Wed Nov 24 08:39:07 2004

>>>>> "Vintage" == Vintage Computer Festival <> writes:

 Vintage> On Tue, 23 Nov 2004, Richard A. Cini wrote:
>> Tonight, I looked at Volume 5 and in the CD table of contents
>> (link above), I see "altair32 Project Altair" and two
>> other related listings. As you all know, this is my baby and this
>> person never had the courtesy to ask my permission to distribute
>> my albeit free software. Am I crazy here? Should I contact this
>> guy and ask him to remove it? Should I ask him to place a link to
>> the project page instead? How about modifying the listing to
>> include a "permission granted" message? Any thoughts on this?

 Vintage> Well, it depends on how you distribute the altair32 project.
 Vintage> Is it freeware? Open source? As I've said before with the
 Vintage> fellow who is selling copies of Al's archive, it's a bit
 Vintage> shameful but there's not much that can be done for various
 Vintage> reasons.

 Vintage> However, if your altair32 project is copyrighted by you then
 Vintage> he is certainly violating your rights. If it's GPL'd then
 Vintage> probably not.

Not quite. GPL code is covered by copyright, too. What matters is
what the terms of the license are under which you distribute it. (GPL
is NOT "public domain" -- it couldn't be or the GPL would have no

For example, if you distributed it under the GPL, then that other
person clearly was allowed to do what he did; in fact, this sort of
thing is explicitly encouraged. The same is, I believe, true for the
BSD style open source license.

If you have a license that requires notice, or credit, or permission,
then that's a different matter.

In any event, even if not required, credit and notice would have been
the polite thing to do, and if I were in your shoes I would send them
a note to that effect.

Received on Wed Nov 24 2004 - 08:39:07 GMT

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