[sword-devel] Distribution of CrossWire software
dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 11 05:57:07 MST 2006
What should/can we do? What is our *policy*?
In the last few days we have received several different emails to
sword-support at crosswire.org regarding an inability to use our
software or its distribution not directly from us. As I have just joined
sword-support to field JSword/BibleDesktop questions, so I don't know if
this is typical or not.
It was noted in 2 emails that the software was being offered for sale on
ebay.com. In another, it was being sold by thinkall.com. (I just posted
my response to that email to this mailing list) Another said that the
two Sword programs wouldn't start. I have asked for further info, but I
suspect that it was not downloaded directly from crosswire.org. And
another wanted to know why BibleDesktop didn't work and a the church
membership program required an unlock key. Another was from an ebay user
asking where is his purchase.
The GPL is really a license about the distribution of software and it's
code. It allows for reasonable recovery of costs associated with
packaging, and postage. But it also has lots of other requirements on
the one doing the distribution.
Anyway, I think it is inappropriate for others to distribute the
software over ebay (except perhaps as a "buy me now" for a few dollars
outside of the US). In the case of one seller on ebay, they were selling
it in UK, for a small amount and also stated that the software is free
software from Sword, though it was not in fine print, it was toward the
bottom of a long paragraph, so it probably would not be seen.
In the case of thinkall, they distribute it under their own license not
the GPL. I think that this is a violation. And they package it in such a
way as to hide its origin.
In the other three cases, I have requested more information so we can
help them get the program up and running. And I pointed them to the
locations where they can download it for free.
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