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March 27, 2008

Anything to make a buck...

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I was perusing eBay today, looking at Photoshop CS3 prices, amongst other things. As I was looking down the list, I came across an auction for a copy of the GIMP Only $5 Buy It Now, $4.50 starting bid! Too bad anyone willing to buy it will download it for free. Those who don't know about the free option probably won't bid on it because they've never heard of it :)

I went over the GNU GPL hosted on The GIMP's website, and didn't see anything about selling copies of the software, other than the detail of offering the source code to the purchaser. Of course, the seller in this case also offers the legitimate option of mailing a CD with the program for $3 shipping. I'll be very interested to see how this auction goes, if it sells, how much it sells for, and how much traffic it'll get from Digg. Hehe, sorry, I just couldn't resist...

Edit: Upon further reading the GPL, section 3 states

You may copy and distribute the Program [...] in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 [...] provided that you also [make the source code available].

It goes on to detail three methods by which you can make the source code available (accompanying the software, with a written offer to transfer the source, or with information concerning such an offer made to you). The seller, however, does not offer the source code anywhere in the listing -- and there's no way to know whether they will offer it after the auction.

At any rate, this seller is selling other GPL'd and open-source software, including 7-Zip and OpenOffice. And all the GPL stuff they're selling, IMO, taste of false advertising.

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