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Old 11-28-2009, 08:09 PM   #1
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About rental and GNU-GPL license


I need to understand more a point. I would like rent a enhanced software solution made by myself based on one popular software distributed under GNU-GPL license. For what I know is possible to sell without problem a solution like that if I provide the source code and release this solution under same GNU-GPL license. But in case I would like rent the software how I can deal with the terms of license ?

I thinking rent the software without provide the source code...but if user want the source they can buy the software and so I don't have any problem to provide source code.

It is correct like that ? Maybe not but if I rent the software and must provide the source code, nothing avoid users to use the code after only 1 month of I am almost obligate to sell the software and not to rent..

Any comments ?


Old 11-28-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dotcom22 View Post
I thinking rent the software without provide the source code...but if user want the source they can buy the software and so I don't have any problem to provide source code.
The key word in the GPL is "distribute" not "sell". Therefore if you are "renting" you code, which is as far as I know the usual way that comercial software is distributed, you would have to provided the source.

Old 11-28-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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In fact the GNU tell a lot thing and this retain my attention:

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.
That mean I can charge but I must provide the code...ok...So like I say the definition about "charge" are not very clear for me...

Maybe is better I explain more my project... The software I want rent is a enhanced CMS and I want provide this tools "ready to use" (with all necessary thing like host, domain, support, update and more). So my first goal is to "rent" this software like that user can use it in the way is build and provided... In this manner I would like user will not be able to change anything in this CSM. The reason is purely technical because I want keep the tools totally "standard" and not "customized" by each users.

The other reason is also about support. I provide support for the CMS like provided but I can't make support if users make change on it because I can't control what they change..Here also is a question to keep the software standard...

Now if user want absolutely make some change I can give to them (sell) the software but they must know I can't continue to guaranteed same condition of support and update. They can get the software and install to another provider...or can stay with me if they want...

I would like provide the software in rental form and charge small fee for that...But off course if they want customize the software the selling price will be more higher...

So in practice they can decide according to their need if they want make some change (most user will not because they want only use the software) and so get the software + source code to higher price....or just use the software "as is" for a small fee...

In fact my project are more focused on service provided around the software..and not really about the software itself...The enhancement I do is based on usability of the software (is more easy to use when all thing are provided) in a optimized environment...

Sorry for my poor english...


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