Commercial sale?

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Commercial sale?

Postby Pyroette » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:59 am

Hello there.

I've got just a short question.(And please excuse my english).
I got a dunning letter from a homepageprovider, which sells "editirial edited contents"(software).
The bill is about 100€, because I downloaded Open Office from this page.
And now the question:
Is it allowed to sell Open Office?
Do you need a special license to sell it?
How does such a license look like?
And how do I find out if the provider hast such a license?
Perhaps you can help me with some usefull hints.

King regards, thanks and keep smiling says Pyro
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Re: commercial sale?

Postby foxcole » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:27 am

(Your English is very good! No need to apologize for it. :) I profoundly admire anyone who can communicate so well in any language that is not their own. Such skills always amaze me, and I find it exciting, because language isn't just about vocabulary, it's about culture, and therefore about understanding. That's just one reason I enjoy this forum so much. It's populated by heroes.)

These earlier threads may help answer your questions. I found them by searching the forum for "sell" after I didn't have much luck with "gpl":
People stealing Open Office and making $ with it
Ebay: Open Office sold !!!
Open office org scam?
What is this?

These are just a few of several similar threads. The theme seems to be that it's fine to sell OpenOffice if there is some kind of value added to the software. But I find 100 euros more than a little suspect. I'm going to go look at the site you mentioned... though I'm not a lawyer, but there is already one well-known scam site, and this might be another.
Cheers!
---Fox

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Re: commercial sale?

Postby foxcole » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:35 am

Do you still have the homepageprovider URL in your browser history? I searched Google and did not find a website with homepageprovider in the domain name... which arouses my suspicion.
Cheers!
---Fox

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Re: commercial sale?

Postby Pyroette » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:24 pm

Hello again.

And thanks for the links.
The URL is: (http://www.)mega-downloads.net
Hopefully I got it right.I understood the other freds that it isnt illegal to sell OOo?!
In the end I think it was my mistake to klick me trough the page to get OOo and that I havent read the their terms propably.
The page just sells download-links, but the bad thing is, that when you have entered your personal data to download OOo you get a subscription for 2 years and each year cost 96€.
I think this is a fee I have to pay and learn by that, that it isnt good to download programs early in the morning from suspicious sites :evil: .

Best regards from the still smiling Pyro
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Re: commercial sale?

Postby TheGurkha » Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:36 pm

I think the bottom line is you can't sell (or charge for) OOo itself, but you can charge for 'services' that you provide for OOo, such as support or training, or in this (rather dodgy) case, for downloading.
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Re: commercial sale?

Postby acknak » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:01 pm

No, you can sell OOo itself. It's just slightly less unethical to structure the deal to avoid that, since you're not charging people money for something they can get for free. It is not illegal though.

My first computer I ordered over the phone from some advertisement. They took the money and ran and I learned a valuable lesson.
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Re: commercial sale?

Postby TheGurkha » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:08 pm

acknak wrote:No, you can sell OOo itself. It's just slightly less unethical to structure the deal to avoid that, since you're not charging people money for something they can get for free. It is not illegal though.

My first computer I ordered over the phone from some advertisement. They took the money and ran and I learned a valuable lesson.


I'm staggered - I thought the license basically meant that you can't sell the product, but you could make money out of providing some sort of 'aftersales' stuff - help, training, integration or whatever.
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Re: commercial sale?

Postby acknak » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:14 pm

As I understand it--and I am not a lawyer--the LGPL license allows anyone who receives the software to do anything they want with it except to reduce the rights of anyone they in turn distribute the software to. So you can take OOo and sell it, but you can't prevent the people you sell it to from copying and giving away what you sold them. It's "share and share alike", but it does depend on a knowledgeable user/customer to avoid scams like this.

If this seems surprising, remember that it also allows people to operate valuable and fair businesses like producing and selling inexpensive CDs and DVDs full of Free Software. See http://distribution.openoffice.org/cdrom/index.html#cdrom for a list of places that sell OOo on CD.

Someone who is basically tricked into spending money, as seems to have happened here, may have legal recourse under some kind of fraud law, or Sun might be able to hassle them for using the "OpenOffice.org" trademark, but it's probably not worth the legal expenses to press the issue.
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