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Old 04-06-2012, 10:38 PM   #16
PCGUY760
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Warranty ? I offer a handshake warranty of ................ if anything goes wrong in 7 days i will replace it for FREE with another pc of equal or better hardware, if you hate the OS you can apply the cash u spent towards a windows pc
 
Old 04-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #17
Dark_Helmet
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I expected nothing less from you k3lt01.

Where was I bragging? The list of qualifications are requirements for a law license--and you requested proof of my legal field knowledge. In Texas, you must hold an undergraduate degree to be admitted into law school. To take the bar exam, you must graduate from an accredited law school. To become a member of the Texas State Bar, you must pass the State Bar Exam and pass the MPRE. None of that list is "bragging" inasmuch as any licensed attorney in Texas may say the same--dates notwithstanding. Without question, had I left off one of those items, you would have played "gotcha" by trying to say that "if you were a real attorney, you would know you have to have X as a requirement." You want to play a game where you define the rules, continue to move the goal posts, and continue to proclaim that I am the one being unreasonable.

To PCGUY760:
As much as k3lt01 will love to twist this into a "see he's squirming"--I cannot give you a definitive "yes" or "no" answer. The rules of professional responsibility preclude me from doing so. If you care to review them: Model Rules of Professional Conduct. In the interest of full disclosure, that is the "model" rule set--each state tweaks changes/adds/removes some to apply to their attorneys.

Quote:
so you are telling me it is OK, in the USA and in the Peoples Republic of California, for me to acquire old desktops and laptops, erase windows, and install MINT or UBUNTU ?
Acquire old desktops and laptops: happens all the time
Erase Windows: you can do whatever you want with the hardware once legal title passes to you (i.e. you pay for it)
Install MINT or UBUNTU: same as immediately above

What you didn't say was "sell" though I obviously understand you want to do that.

As a practical matter, you could avoid all the licensing issues by charging strictly for the hardware. In other words, the invoice/receipt you provide to the customer does not list any software as contributing to the cost of sale.

If you feel you must list software as a component on the invoice, then GPL-licensed software may be sold for a profit--as stated by the authors of the GPL. That "GPL-licensed software" phrase is important. What others have alluded to (without explicitly mentioning) is that "Linux Mint" and "Ubuntu" are collections of components. Some of those components are proprietary--using restricted licenses. If your invoice explicitly identifies a proprietary component with an associated cost, then the sale must conform with the licensing requirements of that component. If you only list components that are GPL-licensed, then you are only selling GPL-licensed components--any other components are being included free of charge. Listing "Linux Mint" or "Ubuntu" as an item could lead to a dispute as to what specific components are being charged for and what percentage of the price is associated with each component.

But again, as a practical matter, listing only the hardware and/or services provided on your invoice avoids any licensing complications to begin with. You are, in essence, selling them the hardware with the added service of installing software they could have done on their own, but would have had to invest the time and energy to do so.

Regarding the "warranty" issue (which is irrelevant to the original question of charging for freely obtained software), every state imposes implied warranties in addition to any express warranties on things sold by "merchants." Also, virtually every state recognizes that an item sold "as-is" puts the consumer on notice that there are no implied warranties except those deemed non-waivable by the state's legislature. Selling something "as-is" also typically requires the seller to make absolutely no oral or written representation as to the object's quality or character. Any such statement is deemed an express warranty. Typical statements for someone in a used-item-seller position would be:

"I have not used this machine since I installed the operating system. When I did install it, everything appeared to function as expected [except for _____ [and ____ ...]]."

You must, in good faith, disclose any shortcomings of the hardware that you are aware of.

The subject of warranties is complex. Many states have consumer protection laws (the Deceptive Trade Practices Act in Texas). I am certain California has one as well, but I am not familiar with it. A California-licensed business attorney should be able to answer most of the warranty questions in a free 1-hour consultation. But again, warranties are a wholly, distinctly separate topic from the original question of charging for software you obtained freely.
 
Old 04-06-2012, 11:51 PM   #18
PCGUY760
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well hell. i am not running a business, i just sell 3 or 5 machines a month , just older desktops and laptops that i want to fool with , got no interest in dealing with John Q Public on a daily basis
 
Old 04-07-2012, 12:06 AM   #19
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manu-tm View Post
Is it different from selling Linux Mint on USB sticks?
http://www.linuxcd.org/view_distro.php?id_distro=337
Are they charging for the OS or the stick and postage?
 
Old 04-07-2012, 12:34 AM   #20
Dark_Helmet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCGUY760
well hell. i am not running a business, i just sell 3 or 5 machines a month , just older desktops and laptops that i want to fool with , got no interest in dealing with John Q Public on a daily basis
If you are not running a business, then most of the "warranty" stuff is out the window. You would likely fall under the "garage sale" concept of commerce. This is the kind of thing where Bob in the neighborhood likes to tinker with things, and sells the result of his hobby from his garage. People find out through friends of friends. Essentially, in those kinds of circumstances, it's assumed the consumer realizes the material is being sold "as-is." You do not encounter many "warranty" lawsuits resulting from garage sales I assure you.

If this is a onesy-twosy operation, you likely needn't bother with much of anything. Technically, to follow the letter of the law, you need to record and report the income from the sale (state and federal--there is a "hobby" section of the federal tax code that might actually provide you some tax benefits if you research it). Technically, to follow the letter of the law, you would need to follow licensing agreements. As a practical matter, for a 3 or 5 machine monthly volume, it's not economically feasible for anybody to do anything. Hiring an attorney to come after you for any alleged damages/violations would likely consume any possible judgment through attorney fees before the lawsuit is filed with the court. The only possible exception would be statutory damages (i.e. a minimum award for some legal violation). I don't see that as likely in this case--the licensing business is a civil, contract-based action. There are no punitive/statutory minimum damages in such a situation. As I said, the warranties generally do not apply for non-merchant transactions (short of the computer exploding, catching fire, or some such). The only possibility that I see where statutory minimums could come into play is with a consumer protection law (i.e. fraud). Just don't lie to anybody or consciously omit something that might influence their decision to purchase, and most of your concerns vanish.

Keep in mind though, if at some point you begin to present yourself as a "polished" type of transaction (e.g. logo, trade name, uniform, etc.) then someone that buys from you could make the claim that they thought you were a merchant.

Last edited by Dark_Helmet; 04-07-2012 at 12:41 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2012, 12:51 AM   #21
manu-tm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Are they charging for the OS or the stick and postage?
I assume they're only charging for the stick and postage. But are there legal issues about proprietary codecs shiped with Mint? I suppose there aren't (because they are doing it), although I'm really not sure...

Last edited by manu-tm; 04-07-2012 at 01:04 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2012, 12:58 AM   #22
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
I expected nothing less from you k3lt01.
You are a funny fellow aren't you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
Where was I bragging?
Remember this little bit?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
You have no idea how much training I have in the legal field. I guarantee you, unless you have a license, you've had less.
So without knowing me you have bragged that you know more than me! You start your entry into this thread by stating what I said was rubbish, on what basis did you come to that conclusion, realising the OP did not say what jurisdiction he was in I could not give any better answer because as pointed out by TobiSGD some countries do not allow people to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
The list of qualifications are requirements for a law license--and you requested proof of my legal field knowledge.
I requested proof, and I am still yet to see anything that cannot be forged by most clever and resourceful high schooler, because your method of debate is not convincing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
In Texas, you must hold an undergraduate degree to be admitted into law school. To take the bar exam, you must graduate from an accredited law school. To become a member of the Texas State Bar, you must pass the State Bar Exam and pass the MPRE. None of that list is "bragging" inasmuch as any licensed attorney in Texas may say the same--dates notwithstanding. Without question, had I left off one of those items, you would have played "gotcha" by trying to say that "if you were a real attorney, you would know you have to have X as a requirement." You want to play a game where you define the rules, continue to move the goal posts, and continue to proclaim that I am the one being unreasonable.
Again you don't get it, you started your entry in this this topic stating that someone else post is "rubbish". I haven't moved any goal posts I am giving you what you started dishing out from the beginning. Don't like it do you? My suggestion would be to mellow a little and think before you bite.

In NSW to teach a subject you have to be qualified in it. I teach a group of subjects within an KLA (Key Learning Area) called HSIE (Human Society in It's Environment). One of my teaching subjects in this group is, wait for it, Legal Studies. I may not sit on a bench but for you to assume I have not got the knowledge to do so is a very weak argument on your behalf. To launch into, without even knowing me or my qualifications, an "I am smarter than you I can guarantee it" is something that belittles your supposed qualifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
To PCGUY760:
As much as k3lt01 will love to twist this into a "see he's squirming"--I cannot give you a definitive "yes" or "no" answer. The rules of professional responsibility preclude me from doing so. If you care to review them: Model Rules of Professional Conduct. In the interest of full disclosure, that is the "model" rule set--each state tweaks changes/adds/removes some to apply to their attorneys.


Acquire old desktops and laptops: happens all the time
Erase Windows: you can do whatever you want with the hardware once legal title passes to you (i.e. you pay for it)
Install MINT or UBUNTU: same as immediately above

What you didn't say was "sell" though I obviously understand you want to do that.

As a practical matter, you could avoid all the licensing issues by charging strictly for the hardware. In other words, the invoice/receipt you provide to the customer does not list any software as contributing to the cost of sale.

If you feel you must list software as a component on the invoice, then GPL-licensed software may be sold for a profit--as stated by the authors of the GPL. That "GPL-licensed software" phrase is important. What others have alluded to (without explicitly mentioning) is that "Linux Mint" and "Ubuntu" are collections of components. Some of those components are proprietary--using restricted licenses. If your invoice explicitly identifies a proprietary component with an associated cost, then the sale must conform with the licensing requirements of that component. If you only list components that are GPL-licensed, then you are only selling GPL-licensed components--any other components are being included free of charge. Listing "Linux Mint" or "Ubuntu" as an item could lead to a dispute as to what specific components are being charged for and what percentage of the price is associated with each component.

But again, as a practical matter, listing only the hardware and/or services provided on your invoice avoids any licensing complications to begin with. You are, in essence, selling them the hardware with the added service of installing software they could have done on their own, but would have had to invest the time and energy to do so.
Well done you have finally answered the question although I would debate whether or not failing to explicitly list proprietary components lets the OP off the hook. It is well known that Ubuntu and Mint include these so to say I didn't list them ignores the idea that ignorance of the law is no defence. The OP would knowingly be selling something, even though he chose to "not specifically list it", that he has no legal title to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
Regarding the "warranty" issue (which is irrelevant to the original question of charging for freely obtained software), every state imposes implied warranties in addition to any express warranties on things sold by "merchants."

The subject of warranties is complex. Many states have consumer protection laws (the Deceptive Trade Practices Act in Texas). I am certain California has one as well, but I am not familiar with it. A California-licensed business attorney should be able to answer most of the warranty questions in a free 1-hour consultation. But again, warranties are a wholly, distinctly separate topic from the original question of charging for software you obtained freely.
Warranties are not a separate issue in all jurisdictions. If you sell something for profit, as in not just recouping costs, you may be, notice I said may, required to provide a warranty. If you are not the legal title holder of any part of the sale item, software included, you can be liable. That is why in some Common Law jurisdictions (New South Wales Australia is but one of many) all stock held by a retailer is either theirs through purchase at cost price to be sold at retail rates later, or held in trust from the manufacturer to be sold on the manufacturers behalf. The OP owns the PCs outright but he does not own the licences to the proprietary software.
 
Old 04-07-2012, 01:01 AM   #23
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manu-tm View Post
I assume they're only charging for the stick and postage. But are there legal issues about proprietary codecs shiped with Mint? I suppose there aren't, although I'm really not sure...
Contact a local LUG for advice, they would hopefully have someone who knows the legal status of things like this in your country. If they do not have someone who can help contact a good lawyer who has expertise in this field.
 
Old 04-07-2012, 01:22 AM   #24
manu-tm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Contact a local LUG for advice, they would hopefully have someone who knows the legal status of things like this in your country. If they do not have someone who can help contact a good lawyer who has expertise in this field.
Yep, better be careful with these kinds of things. BTW, I think Ubuntu only offers an option to download codecs (if I'm right), so it's up to the user to install them (so not Ubuntu responsibility.)
 
Old 04-07-2012, 01:36 AM   #25
TobiSGD
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And in fact it turns out to be so simple as looking at the Linux Mint website. They offer a download of their CD without codecs with the following explanation:
Quote:
A version which fits on a CD, without multimedia support and extra applications. For magazines, companies and distributors in the USA, Japan and countries where the legislation allows patents to apply to software and distribution of restricted technologies may require the acquisition of 3rd party licenses.
 
Old 04-07-2012, 01:37 AM   #26
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manu-tm View Post
BTW, I think Ubuntu only offers an option to download codecs (if I'm right), so it's up to the user to install them (so not Ubuntu responsibility.)
Not having used Ubuntu recently I am not sure how they do it now. Ubuntu and Mint are not the only Distros who install by default or offer to install proprietary codecs and drivers. This is why it is a good idea to know what is on each distro and what your legal system allows.
 
Old 04-07-2012, 02:05 AM   #27
Dark_Helmet
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This is my last response in this ridiculous exchange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet
You have no idea how much training I have in the legal field. I guarantee you, unless you have a license, you've had less.
Were you, perhaps, assuming what license I was referring to? Perhaps you were trying to put words in my mouth by assuming a license to practice law?

As you so aptly stated:
Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01
In NSW to teach a subject you have to be qualified in it.
Question: How is one determined to be "qualified?" A certificate? An official document from a governing/oversight group that determines minimum knowledge on a subject recognized by society/government? A "license," perhaps? And how would the holder of such a document interpret the "unless" clause of my statement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01
I requested proof, and I am still yet to see anything that cannot be forged by most clever and resourceful high schooler, because your method of debate is not convincing.
And this is precisely what I refer to as "moving the goal posts." You asked for evidence. I provided a list of my qualifications and the scanned image of my Bar card. Yet, you take refuge in the "forgery" argument to avoid the fact that I stated who and what I am and didn't slink away when you challenged it.

What, pray tell, would be sufficient evidence to convince you? That I board an airplane, fly to your home, present you with paper documents that were stamped by the Texas State Bar, an accounting that I am a member in good standing, both notarized, stamped by your country's customs, and sealed with wax to indicate the contents were undisturbed in transit? Wait, I forgot, first I would need to prove to Jeremy that I am the individual associated with this account, get a document from him proving the association (likely including a photo ID and genetic sample), have him personally accompany me to the State Bar office for the other documents, and have him verify that I boarded a connectionless flight. There is absolutely nothing that I can do to satisfy you because you will "move the goal posts" by questioning the authenticity of anything I provide.

Your only recourse is to state, "I want uniquely identifying information" to authenticate my qualifications. Yet, you continue to repeat (over and over again) that "you don't know me." Precisely. Why would I want to provide you, some random person on the Internet with uniquely identifying information about myself that could be used to devastate my livelihood? How am I to know that you're not some Russian hacker looking to score a new identity to sell to criminals? How are you going to convince me that you're not? And if there's no proof that meets your exacting standards, your challenge of my claims is meaningless.

There are limits on "proof." You know this, and you are hiding behind unattainable standards and/or expecting me to be an absolute moron and give you the keys to everything about me.


You say that I "belittle[d] [my] supposed qualifications" by stating your original post was "rubbish." I assert that you belittle your supposed qualifications by getting worked up about it. Someone with experience in the legal field is accustomed to others making claims bordering on the outrageous, characterizing one party's actions as "beyond the pale," or "against all standards of moral decency." I find it hard to believe someone with that experience would have such a thin skin for the word "rubbish."
 
Old 04-07-2012, 03:05 AM   #28
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
This is my last response in this ridiculous exchange.
finally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
Were you, perhaps, assuming what license I was referring to? Perhaps you were trying to put words in my mouth by assuming a license to practice law?
Nope, were you on the other hand assuming I knew nothing and used that assumption to "put me in my place".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
Question: How is one determined to be "qualified?" A certificate? An official document from a governing/oversight group that determines minimum knowledge on a subject recognized by society/government? A "license," perhaps? And how would the holder of such a document interpret the "unless" clause of my statement?
Why have a last response and then ask a question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
And this is precisely what I refer to as "moving the goal posts." You asked for evidence. I provided a list of my qualifications and the scanned image of my Bar card. Yet, you take refuge in the "forgery" argument to avoid the fact that I stated who and what I am and didn't slink away when you challenged it.
If you hadn't come in "all guns ablazing" I would have just pointed out I didn't have the information with regards to what jurisdiction the OP was from. I would then have pointed out I gave my answer on a best intentions basis. You however started up and then bragged about how clever you were. You want to bring this into a discussion expect someone, like me, to push you on it. You initiated this so deal with it in an appropriate fashion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
What, pray tell, would be sufficient evidence to convince you? That I board an airplane, fly to your home, present you with paper documents that were stamped by the Texas State Bar, an accounting that I am a member in good standing, both notarized, stamped by your country's customs, and sealed with wax to indicate the contents were undisturbed in transit? Wait, I forgot, first I would need to prove to Jeremy that I am the individual associated with this account, get a document from him proving the association (likely including a photo ID and genetic sample), have him personally accompany me to the State Bar office for the other documents, and have him verify that I boarded a connectionless flight. There is absolutely nothing that I can do to satisfy you because you will "move the goal posts" by questioning the authenticity of anything I provide.
Here we go again.

You made the statement, you should expect that people do not just fall at your feet and believe every word you post. This thread was about selling desktops and laptops with Ubuntu and Mint on it, you successfully turned it into a thread about you, well done. We didn't need the "I'm smarter than you" attitude the OP just needed good advice which you eventually gave as have others who have joined in. No one else bragged about their qualifications just you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
Your only recourse is to state, "I want uniquely identifying information" to authenticate my qualifications. Yet, you continue to repeat (over and over again) that "you don't know me." Precisely. Why would I want to provide you, some random person on the Internet with uniquely identifying information about myself that could be used to devastate my livelihood? How am I to know that you're not some Russian hacker looking to score a new identity to sell to criminals? How are you going to convince me that you're not? And if there's no proof that meets your exacting standards, your challenge of my claims is meaningless.
And here we go again and again. Before you read this take a deep breath ok. I don't care about your qualifications you mean absolutely nothing to me as a human being. You have made statements and when asked to verify it you complain when it is pointed out to you that it is practically impossible to prove it. You understand law and legal process why has it take so long for you to understand this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
There are limits on "proof." You know this, and you are hiding behind unattainable standards and/or expecting me to be an absolute moron and give you the keys to everything about me.
Yes I do know this but no I am not expecting you to be a moron. What I did expect was that you would recognise you come into this discussion running hot and from your first post you started asserting your superiority. A better way may have been to say, "hey, recognising new information has come to light the post prior to this may not be totally accurate".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Helmet View Post
You say that I "belittle[d] [my] supposed qualifications" by stating your original post was "rubbish." I assert that you belittle your supposed qualifications by getting worked up about it. Someone with experience in the legal field is accustomed to others making claims bordering on the outrageous, characterizing one party's actions as "beyond the pale," or "against all standards of moral decency." I find it hard to believe someone with that experience would have such a thin skin for the word "rubbish."
Sorry to tell you sunshine LQ is not a legal service per se. LQ is a place were people offer advice on a best knowledge basis, some people make mistakes others come in and fill in blanks. You come in and acted all superior. That has not helped anyone and has filled this otherwise informative thread with your life story. You keep saying I have changed the goal posts,it was you who had to point out how smart you are compared to everyone else. I fail to see what that, in a thread that could otherwise have been short and sweet, did to keep the thread and any subsequent discussion on track. It isn't about having a thick or thin skin (why you brought this into the discussion I don't know will you blame me for changing the goal posts again when it was you who initiated this and every other tangent?) rather it is about being helpful. I answer the OP to the best of my ability with the information I was presented with, what did you do?
 
Old 04-07-2012, 04:02 AM   #29
colucix
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@k3lt01 and Dark_Helmet, please calm down and stay on topic. Further intemperance will not be tolerated. Moreover, you might solve your disagreements privately without hijacking the thread. Thank you.
 
Old 04-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #30
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I guess an Aggie doesn't know that you can't legally sell or for that matter posses or download some of the things in MINT unless the version if the free non-codec version in the US.

If you want to protect yourself then purchase a copy from some company as an OEM installer.

The company that is big in commercial linux (RH) went after all sorts of people 15 or 20 years ago. Things that the people had to remove in included text files, art work, copy and trade mark protected items.

If you want to use Ubuntu then you need to contact them. http://www.ubuntu.com/business/desktop

You are not using this as a person. You have stated you are a business entity involved in making profit.

Watch for things in there like this.
"...2 Restrictions. Except as expressly permitted by this EULA or by applicable law, You may not (i) sell, lease, assign, license, sublicense, distribute or otherwise transfer in whole or in part the Software; (ii) permit any use of or access to the Software by any third party, (i..."

Last edited by jefro; 04-08-2012 at 06:33 PM.
 
  


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