[Bf-committers] GPL or (c) infringement?

Robert Wenzlaff (AB8TD) rwenzlaff at soylent-green.com
Thu Mar 10 15:33:11 CET 2005

On Thursday 10 March 2005 04:50, Ton Roosendaal wrote:
> apart from infringing copyright of used images, 

I think he can be hit for $1000 minimum stautory damages _per image_.  Can the 
BF lawyers threaten a class action suite on behalf of the Blender Users he's 

>and false claims (these  
> images have been made by...), does GPL allow you to fully rebrand and  
> repackage a product without crediting the origins? And if so, then how  
> do copyright laws protect against such spoofs?

Well, to comply with the GPL, he has to offer the sources for free in the same 
form he offers the binary.   IE; he can not just say, "go D/L it off 
www.blender.org" if he's physically selling you a CD 
(Because I might give the CD to someone without internet access.)

So other actions would be for a bunch of people to request Source CD's and if 
he doesn't comply, then he is in violatin of the GPL and the FSF can take him 
to court.

But then again, looking on Ebay, he's _offering_ re-branded Blender, I don't 
see that he's actually sold any.... So it may be a self correcting problem.   
But, he lists them as private auctions, so I'm not sure if the sold status 
shown is correct.

To be fair it looks like this guy is doing it a lot.  I see him selling 
OpenOffice as "Platinum Office Suite",  MySQL, Several Audio recording Apps 
that I don't recognize, A 2D CAD package (that I'd like to find, so I know 
where to D/L it).  He's clever enough to make the screenshots too small to 
read the titles off them.

I'll post this question to another group of mine, that Eric Raymond (Author of 
"Cathederal and the Bazzar", and man credited for coining the term "Open 
Source Software") is a regular of.  

The real question is, if he is complying with the GPL so that the users can 
find us, is he helping or hurting us?  Since the max price he's asking is $20 
is that _that_ much over a "copying fee" to worry about.  OpenOffice.org 
charges ~$10 if you want a CD mailed.
Robert Wenzlaff   rwenzlaff at soylent-green.com

More information about the Bf-committers mailing list