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Swene 04-26-2002 05:43 PM

Is it legal to sell Linux Distributions

Is it legal to sell Linux Distrubutions? The price would only be covering the cost of the CD-R and the rest contributes to my ever enlarging phone bills. About 2 euros left over after a few sales. Total cost 15 euro per CD. That legal?

safrout 04-26-2002 05:58 PM

i think
that it is legal but if u find anyone sell linux dist.

but i think u can be helpfull for users near u and they have slow conection but don't take the chance and make the price high or more than the normal

then will be legal sure

zmedico 04-26-2002 09:23 PM

It may be legal or not, depending on which distribution.

trickykid 04-27-2002 12:01 AM

Please do not double post. You already started this in the General-Linux forum. There was no need to start it here.

finegan 04-29-2002 11:08 PM

From what I can tell of the base install CDs, not any of the contrib CDs (which are usually not downloadable anyway)... here it goes:

SuSe, nope, YaSt is part of any install and the license has a specific caveat for NO PROFIT redistrobution.

Mandrake, yep, they striped any non LGPL, GPL, MPL, or BSD license goop from the downloadable pair.

RedHat, yep, and they're proud of the fact.

Slackware, yep, although really, send Patrick a few bucks... he was solo-ing the distro back when RH's CEO was cashing in a big fat $2mil IPO check.

Caldera, nope, Most of the installer is non-GPL and has another of those NOT FOR PROFIT lines in it. Obnoxious brats.

Debian, of course!



mogyweb 05-05-2002 11:07 AM

You may sell Red Hat but you cannot call it Red Hat. In other words, Red Hat does not want to confuse those who purchase from them and get support with the purchase, with those who purchase a burned CD and get no support form Red Hat.
See the Trademark Issues

In reality, I think that many Linux Distributions are hurting for money and need resources to continue.

RandomAccess 05-08-2002 04:50 PM

i'd choose a distro or two that you wanted to resell, then check very carefully all the legalities surrounding them: really, you should be doing some research here, man :) on the appropriate websites. But what might be cool is if you resold the ones you've decided to distribute/checked the legality of, and then took some of those profits and sent them to the appropriate distro, especially if this will let you send patrick a few bucks :) or contribute some cash thru the madrake club recently started. It'd help spread the distros for those who can't download a few gigs at a time, and send some trickles of revenue stream back up to the appropriate companies. Huh. Of course a lot of people would need to do this to make a BIG difference, but starting with a small difference is usually the way to go :)

i realize this will probably start a $*!tstorm. that in mind, i'd include the caveats that 1) you REALLY follow up on contributing to the distro sources! and 2) make it obvious and apparent that you are merely ONE way of getting these distros, not the cheapest or only way.

pikey 05-08-2002 10:13 PM

when i read your post i didnt even have to look to the left to know u were from ireland like myself,
the price of internet in this country is appalling with flat rate options avilable to very few :( but when u say the money would help you pay your phone bill do u mean u are downloading the dirtro's over 56k/isdn there are far better ways to get them
it isnt hard to find ppl over the net that will post u the cd's in exchange for some blanks posting up to 5 cd's to any eu county shouldnt cost more than 1 euro and becaue of this i dont think ppl would buy cd's off u for 15 euro each and if u did u would be ripping them off
btw u can find ppl in ireland who will send u cd's in the unix section of or on ILUG u can sign up for this on

esamatti 05-09-2002 08:41 PM

Like one poster said depends on the distribution.

If it is a distribution that is has all it's components GPL then based on the GPL yes you can modify it, sell it, or give it away as you see fit as long as you include the source code and allow the person who it is distributed to do the same thing.

Kind of makes it moot cause there is nothing stopping someone fromn buying it from you and then giving your distro away.

Besides you would no doubt end up pissing off all the damn SOCIALISTS in the Linux "community", who are all about freedom yet they wanna take it away in subtle communistic ways.

If you want real freedom to do as you please with software look into BSD style licensed products. (for instance

I especially like this quote from the link above...

"The GNU Public License and licenses modeled on it impose the restriction that source code must be distributed or made available for all works that are derivatives of the GNU copyrighted code.

While this may be a noble strategy in terms of software sharing, it is a condition that is typically unacceptable for commercial use of software."

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