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Old 05-20-2005, 11:01 PM   #1
Genesee
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Would someone from the Mepis team like to address this?


Welcome to LQ.org

As Mepis was the subject of a recent LQ thread regarding possible GPL-hostile activity, perhaps someone from the Mepis team would like to set the record straight on this?

I would very much like to hear both sides of this situation. Please refer to post #10 of this thread:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...73#post1645673
 
Old 05-21-2005, 01:44 AM   #2
mrbass
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I think this guy summed it up well
Quote:
They just replied again saying, "There is no change in our policy or in what we said. You may resell this software at a profit by removing ALL MEPIS logos and names in the installer
and throughout the entire application. Control Center is also trademarked.
If you sell MEPIS with it's trademarks and copyrights again your auctions will be removed. If you sell MEPIS and ship the product with the trademarks and copyrights intact you will be in violation of copyright and trademark laws.

The GPL does not include copyrights and trademarks..."
Just like cheapbytes got busted by redhat...they had to strip all the logos and mentioning of the name. I don't belive their control center is GPL though so that may have to be stripped as well.
 
Old 05-21-2005, 10:08 AM   #3
CouchMaster
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Standard fare for just about all versions of Linux. You can copy it, sell it at cost, give it away - but sell it for a profit (donuts) and you violate the law.
 
Old 05-21-2005, 11:02 AM   #4
craigevil
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Quote:
Originally posted by CouchMaster
Standard fare for just about all versions of Linux. You can copy it, sell it at cost, give it away - but sell it for a profit (donuts) and you violate the law.

That is NOT true. As long as the software is covered by the GPL and not a more restrictive license or by copyright protection. For some reason that is a common misunderstanding.

"Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money?
Yes, the GPL allows everyone to do this. The right to sell copies is part of the definition of free software. Except in one special situation, there is no limit on what price you can charge. (The one exception is the required written offer to provide source code that must accompany binary-only release)."
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....eGPLAllowMoney
 
Old 05-21-2005, 11:54 AM   #5
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Smile

Quote:
Originally posted by CouchMaster
Standard fare for just about all versions of Linux. You can copy it, sell it at cost, give it away - but sell it for a profit (donuts) and you violate the law.
OK, what about these scenarios.

1. A business associate of mine wants to try Linux. What if I go to his office and install Mepis 3.3 'for free' but I charge him $100 plus a pizza lunch for my time and trouble? Will Mepis sue for that? (Hope not!)

2. I sit down and write a 25 page guide (on a PDF file) on how to install Mepis and how to use some of the applications... KDE, GIMP, etc. I then sell this to the public at large for $15 and include a 'free' CD of the Mepis .iso file with the guide. Will Mepis sue me for that? (Hope not!)

As I understand it under GPL one can sell service and docs for whatever price they want as long as they make it clear that the underlying Debian distro is 'free.' But maybe Richard Stallman has changed the rules... since he has a bee in his bonnet that everything related to software must be free (except his speaking fees, of course!!! :-) )

Al
 
Old 05-21-2005, 12:06 PM   #6
CouchMaster
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Quote:
Originally posted by acanton
OK, what about these scenarios.

1. A business associate of mine wants to try Linux. What if I go to his office and install Mepis 3.3 'for free' but I charge him $100 plus a pizza lunch for my time and trouble? Will Mepis sue for that? (Hope not!)

2. I sit down and write a 25 page guide (on a PDF file) on how to install Mepis and how to use some of the applications... KDE, GIMP, etc. I then sell this to the public at large for $15 and include a 'free' CD of the Mepis .iso file with the guide. Will Mepis sue me for that? (Hope not!)

As I understand it under GPL one can sell service and docs for whatever price they want as long as they make it clear that the underlying Debian distro is 'free.' But maybe Richard Stallman has changed the rules... since he has a bee in his bonnet that everything related to software must be free (except his speaking fees, of course!!! :-) )

Al
I can only say that when they discover someone selling for a profit, any kind of profit, they can and sometimes do put a stop to it! So their reading of the GPL is different from mine/yours - and they prevail so I/we must be wrong.
 
Old 05-21-2005, 12:40 PM   #7
Kdr Kane
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You are mistaken if you think the GPL says that.

Mepis has the right to keep people from using their trademarks without compensation. Please don't say that nobody can make a profit off of selling LInux. Novell and RedHat sell Linux for a profit. It doens't cost them hundreds of dollars to make a CD and a book. I just can't make a profit off of reselling their trademarked distribution.

acanton,
1. That's perfectly fine.

2. You couldn't really do that without permission most likely. And that's usually the main reason distributions make a LIveCD version. They'd probably have no problem if you asked them nicely to add the LiveCD to your book.
 
Old 05-27-2005, 01:29 PM   #8
chemist109
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Two things:

Mepis may have software in their distribution that is NOT GPL (such as their installer).

Their artwork is copyrighted and (possibly) trademarked. In order to keep their trademark they must track down and stop unauthorized use. If they fail to do so, they could loose their trademarks. (I know, it doesn't sound right but look it up and you'll see that I'm telling the truth.) They also have every right to use whatever license that they wish with their artwork-- including refusing to allow it to be sold for profit.
 
Old 05-28-2005, 05:28 AM   #9
XavierP
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Quote:
Originally posted by chemist109
In order to keep their trademark they must track down and stop unauthorized use. If they fail to do so, they could loose their trademarks. (I know, it doesn't sound right but look it up and you'll see that I'm telling the truth.)
This is true (just to sidetrack the original discussion slightly), many companies have people whose sole job it is to check out any trademark violations or simply misuse. For example, if your company name has a hyphen in it, they will make sure that advertisements and news stories include that hyphen - it sounds lame and pointless but letting it go means that the correct namegets diluted and, eventually, the worst case scenario is that the company loses the right to claim the name as a trademark.

Also, lets say someone copied the disk and made some changes to it that would guarantee that your machine could be a zombie. If Mepis let the person leave the logos and names in there they would end up taking a huge amount of flak. At least if the trademarks are removed then Mepis is safe.

Here's a great example: we all like trampolines, right? Trampoline was originally the name of the company. But more and more people used the company name for non-Trampoline products and eventually it became the name of the thing rather than the name of the company that first brought it out. Now, anyone can call their trampoline a trampoline. And I think the company went bust.

In the UK, we know vacuum cleaners as Hoovers. Same thing, sort of.
 
Old 05-28-2005, 11:44 PM   #10
jery_wang2002
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Quote:
Originally posted by chemist109
Two things:

Mepis may have software in their distribution that is NOT GPL (such as their installer).
I don't get this. I thought that when you distribute any software as part of GPL distribution. That software comes under GPL too. Especially, when without that software the distribution CD is not functioning properly. This is very confusing.

To draw an analogy.

I can install MySQL in my web server and it's under GPL.
I can distribute MySQL in a CD under GPL.
I can distribute my software that uses MySQL as long as my software is also GPL.

But I can NOT distribute my software in a CD together with MySQL when my software is NOT GPLed.

I can, however, to distribute my non-GPL software separately (in its own CD) and let the user download MySQL by herself and install it by herself too.

Now, the installer definitely needs the GPL codes to work with, otherwise what is it going to install. Installer by itself is of no use. If I can redistribute GPL codes with the non-GPL installer, I should be able to distribute my non-GPL software with MySQL in single CD.

Please someone clarify on this????
 
Old 05-29-2005, 12:11 AM   #11
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jery_wang2002,

You are correct.

Too many people are making ignorant statements about the GPL without even reading or trying to understand it.
 
Old 05-29-2005, 09:33 AM   #12
jery_wang2002
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It seems that we do not have 'Law enforcement' on this.

Who is the right authority? My guess is the competitor who violates the GPL since there is monetary advantage to file lawsuit.

I send email to FSF feedback but it falls on deaf ear.

Unlike in MySQL case where it is clear who is losing money when I distribute non-GPL with MySQL in single CD, Linux distro does not have a single entity that might be losing money because someone violates the GPL on the agregate of components.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kdr Kane
jery_wang2002,

You are correct.

Too many people are making ignorant statements about the GPL without even reading or trying to understand it.
 
Old 05-29-2005, 08:55 PM   #13
FunTimes
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Here is a sample of Mepis' view toward GPL http://www.mepis.org/node/99

And when some critizes they are reminded that Mepis is Warren's distro not theirs (per Eadwine replying to
acanton - the one who wrote the articles mention onthis thread .
Referece to that quote
 
Old 05-29-2005, 09:39 PM   #14
jery_wang2002
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What does it mean a distro is someone's distro?

All codes belong to the original author and licensed under GPL. I think we need to have a correct definition of 'distro'.

Quote:
Originally posted by FunTimes
Here is a sample of Mepis' view toward GPL http://www.mepis.org/node/99

And when some critizes they are reminded that Mepis is Warren's distro not theirs
 
Old 05-30-2005, 12:49 AM   #15
aysiu
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Why debate about all this when the answer is right on the website:

Quote:
1. Can I legally copy MEPIS Linux CDs and give them to my friends, etc?

You can make copies of the SimplyMEPIS bootable CD and give them away for non-commercial purposes only.

If you give CDs to others, please encourage them to buy updates and subscriptions from MEPIS.

2. Can I sell MEPIS Linux CDs?

The SimplyMEPIS CD is released under a GPL collective work license which theoretically allows you to make and sell copies.

However you may not use the MEPIS name or logo without permission. Therefore, in effect, you can not legally sell copies of MEPIS CDs without our permission.

3. How do I get permission to use the MEPIS name and logo?

Some people have sold homemade MEPIS CDs at Ebay for more than MEPIS charged! MEPIS gets no money when this happens. But we do get a bad reputation when the CDs are old or they don't work.

Therefore we give permission to use the MEPIS brand name only as a part of a formal business relationship
4. Do I need permission to use the MEPIS name and logo when I give away or sell SimplyMEPIS CDs for non-commercial purposes?

You do not but please encourage users to support MEPIS.

MEPIS explicitly gives the Debian Project, KDE.org, and Linux Users Groups the right to give away or sell SimplyMEPIS CDs as part of their promotional or fund raising activities.
 
  


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