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Old 22-03-2012, 21:03   #1
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Exclamation What Do You Think of Selling OpenCPN?

First, I like to thank you for such a nice software suite. I have just downloaded it in the past week and have learned a bunch of it's capabilities. I just need to get a good receiver and to test it out completely.
Second, and the primary reason for this email. I was on ebay today looking to buy a usb reciever and noticed someone selling a piece of software. As I looked into it the software seemed to resemble OPENCPN in many ways. I was going to ask them about it but decided to post this in the forum to get your take on this.

Here is the item number 280846487576 as posted on ebay. Now if this is you guys just trying to cover costs then so be it. But if it is someone who is ripping you off then I feel you should know about it.
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Old 23-03-2012, 08:22   #2
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

esan6...
Of course it's OpenCPN and the seller is nobody from the OpenCPN authors... I see some of those guys already got lazy enough to rip each other's "work" on making a full blown ebay listing
If you have a closer look at the longer item description, you can see it ends with magical sentences making it absolutely legal: "TO BE TOTALLY CLEAR YOU ARE BUYING A CD AND NOT ITS CONTENT" and "NOTE:- You are paying for the CD and "A Reasonable cost for compilation and redistribution" as stated under license the agreement and NOT the value of the software on the CD."
All we can do about it is hope they really provide the support they promise or that it will pay back on their karma

Pavel
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Old 23-03-2012, 09:33   #3
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by esan6 View Post
First, I like to thank you for such a nice software suite. I have just downloaded it in the past week and have learned a bunch of it's capabilities. I just need to get a good receiver and to test it out completely.
Second, and the primary reason for this email. I was on ebay today looking to buy a usb reciever and noticed someone selling a piece of software. As I looked into it the software seemed to resemble OPENCPN in many ways. I was going to ask them about it but decided to post this in the forum to get your take on this.

Here is the item number 280846487576 as posted on ebay. Now if this is you guys just trying to cover costs then so be it. But if it is someone who is ripping you off then I feel you should know about it.


How about this-

Laptop Navigation System

LaptopNav.com > Home


Is this the same? Or more legit?
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Old 23-03-2012, 10:06   #4
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

In the Open Source community (including software covered by the GNU license, GNU General Public License v2.0 - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF) ) it is common for bundlers to incorporate the Open Source materials with hardware, additional software, etc in their products. So long as the license is complied with, e.g. source code included, et. al., then it's no different that IBM selling laptops with Red Hat Linux installed (which they used to do, when IBM sold laptops).

On the other hand, when someone misrepresents the contents of their offering, especially when they're trying to profit off the skill and generosity of the open source community, we'll, they're scum...

Scott
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Old 23-03-2012, 12:10   #5
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

It's not OK to sell something other people developed for free.

Commercially, It may sound funny, but what about the seller's ethics?

b.
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Old 23-03-2012, 13:58   #6
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

b:

It is perfectly legal. Think back to when Linux was just starting some 20 years ago (an epoch in computer time). It was available absolutely free from the developers website (well that was before the web, and I forget what kind of site it was). I downloaded it (using a dialup modem and it took an hour or so), just like you can download a free copy of OpenCpn with or without the source.

Shortly thereafter bundlers came along, Redhat being one that survived. They provided a decent service by bundling all of the free, open Unix source, whether it was Linux or Gnu or ?. I bought one of their dis(kette??)s when it was time to upgrade. I think it cost $20 and was well worth it.

Now these eBay guys may or may not be really providing a bundling service. Depends on what is in their package. But from what has been posted on this thread so far, it all sounds legal. Is it ethical if no value added stuff is included? You decide.

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Old 23-03-2012, 14:08   #7
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

people have been doing it for centuries, i think the first free software was called the bible or something like that..................
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Old 23-03-2012, 14:15   #8
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
b:

It is perfectly legal. (...)
Many things are legal. In some civilized legal systems everything that is not illegal is legal!

But not everything is ethical!

I would not buy a legal product from an unethical seller anyway. Software is not air to breathe nor water to drink and us sailors are (mostly;-) not at the edge of subsistence.

Download OpenCPN for FREE then donate to the project if you find it valuable.

b.
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Old 23-03-2012, 14:19   #9
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

Open source DOES NOT try to keep people from making a profit off it. Not only is it legal, the GPL license itself ENCOURAGES anyone to sell the product if they want.

There are limitations: They MUST include the source with the distribution. They cannot alter it and make the result closed source. Any modifications must be released under the same GPL license, which of course means the source must be released as well.

So, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE SELLING IT ON EBAY or elsewhere. As far as OpenCPN is concerned, they don't even need the disclaimer about selling only the CD. But, they DO need that disclaimer for the NOAA charts they include on the CD.

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Old 23-03-2012, 16:48   #10
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

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(...)

So, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE SELLING IT ON EBAY or elsewhere. (...)

-dan
Dan, you are a star!

To me:

Legal does not equal OK.
Legal does not equal ethical.
Legal does not equal good practice.

The law should not be the only measure of our judgment of what is proper and what is not. If the law allows for doing something, we may yet resolve to refrain from doing so based on other considerations (moral, ethical, practical, environmental, etc.).

So, IMHO, there IS something wrong with people selling things that they did not create and which can be had for free from their creators.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 23-03-2012, 17:10   #11
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Re: What Do You Think of Selling OpenCPN?

Somewhat analogous are the people on Ebay selling CDs of the NOAA charts. Free to download, but maybe some people are on dial-up and can't download them easily; or are just lazy and can't be bothered to download several dozen separate charts. . . .
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Old 23-03-2012, 19:46   #12
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Re: What Do You Think of Selling OpenCPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Dan, you are a star!

To me:

Legal does not equal OK.
Legal does not equal ethical.
Legal does not equal good practice.

The law should not be the only measure of our judgment of what is proper and what is not. If the law allows for doing something, we may yet resolve to refrain from doing so based on other considerations (moral, ethical, practical, environmental, etc.).

So, IMHO, there IS something wrong with people selling things that they did not create and which can be had for free from their creators.

Cheers,
b.
I agree with what you say, however...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
Somewhat analogous are the people on Ebay selling CDs of the NOAA charts. Free to download, but maybe some people are on dial-up and can't download them easily; or are just lazy and can't be bothered to download several dozen separate charts. . . .
Exactly. What they are doing on e-bay IS a value-add. Of dubious value for most people? Yes.

I have people e-mail me and offer me money to get them CDs or DVDs of charts that can be had for free from the links on my website. They had to scroll past all those links to go find my e-mail address in the fine print. These people state various reasons for wanting to pay me for something they can get for free. Some have dial-up. Some don't have a dvd/cd burner and want it for safety backup. Some don't want to go to the hassle to go through all those links. Some want to make sure they are not downloading viruses. Some are afraid they will mess something up when they download. One person was afraid they "might download them in the wrong order, or something".

Buying OpenCPN on e-bay, you get the charts and software together. You know that the charts will work with the software, because the seller SAYS they will. The seller has a money back guarantee (is it any good? who knows?). It comes with instructions for installation (are it any good? who knows?). They offer free support (is it any good? who knows?).

Now, for me that's all silly. But for some people it's worth it. Quick and easy.

Are they actually being ethical and giving good value for the money? I don't know. But I also don't know that they aren't. So, I give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are doing nothing wrong.

-dan
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Old 31-03-2012, 07:33   #13
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

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Originally Posted by nohal View Post

If you have a closer look at the longer item description, you can see it ends with magical sentences making it absolutely legal: "TO BE TOTALLY CLEAR YOU ARE BUYING A CD AND NOT ITS CONTENT" and "NOTE:- You are paying for the CD and "A Reasonable cost for compilation and redistribution" as stated under license the agreement and NOT the value of the software on the CD."
All we can do about it is hope they really provide the support they promise or that it will pay back on their karma

Pavel
No karma payment is necessary, as this type of transaction is contemplated in the GPL. The "blame" is on the bonehead buyer, that could load it on the net for free. For some people paying 20 bucks, say, is cheaper that going thru the trouble of downloading programs and manuals.

At the end, some user will benefit from using the software, which I think is the goal.

Disclaimer: I never sold media with GPL software to anyone.
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Old 18-04-2012, 14:55   #14
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Re: What you think of selling OpenCPN?

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...
There are limitations: They MUST include the source with the distribution....
Just a slight correction. There is no requirement to ship the source with a product. You have to make the source available to the customer. For example, you don't have to ship the Linux source with an Android phone.

It always amazes me when people get uptight about someone selling open source software. If the original developers (i.e. copyright owners) want to restrict this, they can do so within the license that they place on the source. Of course, that would be a license different from GPL v2, as it allows anyone to resell the code as long as they meet the GPL license terms.
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Old 18-04-2012, 15:48   #15
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Re: What Do You Think of Selling OpenCPN?

I actually just read all of that, without falling asleep!
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