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#1 2012-05-10 10:35:19

The8Bit
Member
Registered: 2012-05-10
Posts: 4

Selling Discs?

Hey Everyone!
I'm a long time user of linux and was thinking of starting up an online store selling linux CDs, specifically for australians, I was wondering if thats legal and just so everyone knows, I am planning on donating more than 50% of any of the proceeds to the linux creators (If someone buys a archlinux CD, I would donate 50% of the the procedes to arch linux).
Just wondering what everyone thinks and want to verify that it is legal to sell CDs/DVDs of Linux.
Thanks,
The8Bit

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#2 2012-05-10 11:55:13

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,473
Website

Re: Selling Discs?

I can't verify that it's legal. I think it's legal, as long as people have access to the source code. But that's pretty easy, because the source code is all online. Also, you don't have to give any money to any developers, but I don't think they'll mind it. smile

Do you have a market for it? Why would someone buy a disc from you instead of making one themselves?

Will you also sell USB drives with Linux on them?

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#3 2012-05-10 11:59:50

The8Bit
Member
Registered: 2012-05-10
Posts: 4

Re: Selling Discs?

drcouzelis wrote:

I can't verify that it's legal. I think it's legal, as long as people have access to the source code. But that's pretty easy, because the source code is all online. Also, you don't have to give any money to any developers, but I don't think they'll mind it. smile

Do you have a market for it? Why would someone buy a disc from you instead of making one themselves?

Will you also sell USB drives with Linux on them?

Maybe USB drives, they're a lot more expensive though.

From what I've researched, I think it's legal. I would donate some of the proceeds to the developers as they are doing a great job and I want them to keep it up. I also on't really like the idea of selling other peoples work on discs and keeping all the money I get to myself, even if it is legal.

The main reason people would buy them is that some people don't have disc burners, or dont want to pay $15 for a box of 30 discs, when I could sell them one for about $2 including shipping to australians (Even though it would actually be cheaper to get the 30 discs, what if you don't need them? There's no point buys 30 discs when you only need one). Also some people just wouldn't have the know-how to do it, I would also sell copies of Ubuntu and other OSs once I verify its all legal.

Last edited by The8Bit (2012-05-10 12:02:07)

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#4 2012-05-10 12:07:28

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,319

Re: Selling Discs?

I'm no legal expert, but it's generally no problem, if you make clear, that you don't sell the software, but a service that will bring the software from the internet to the customer.

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#5 2012-05-10 12:09:37

The8Bit
Member
Registered: 2012-05-10
Posts: 4

Re: Selling Discs?

Yeah thats what I though, that as long as it is clear that I don't own the software, and I did not create it, and I think I have to post a link to the web site where you can download the software (OS in this case) for free.

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#6 2012-05-10 12:29:52

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,319

Re: Selling Discs?

Have you tried asking google about "selling open source software"?

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html

*looks at OP*

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#7 2012-05-10 13:36:05

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Selling Discs?

It's my understanding that it's not illegal, just unprofitable.  Since it's all open-source, someone can just as easily a) download it for free or b) just have a friend make a copy.  And if one doesn't have internet acces, there's quite a bit that's gonna be missing when one buys a plain ol' installation disc from someone else (this would especially include rolling-release distros that absolutely require internet access to keep functioning as designed).

By the way: can't you typically buy, say, a set of 5 CDs for a few dollars? In the States $15 will get me a stack of 50 blank DVDs, and a pack of 5 CDs costs 3-4 dollars.

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#8 2012-05-10 14:47:11

tomegun
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2010-05-28
Posts: 661

Re: Selling Discs?

I am not a lawyer, and I do not speak on behalf of the Arch devs on legal (or any other) matters.

That said, my understanding is the following:

You are free to sell any opensource software any way you want. However, you are not necessarily free to use the different trademarks involved without permission.

To learn about the Arch Linux trademark policy, please refer to: <https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/De … markPolicy>.

PS
It is my opinion that CD's with Arch Linux on them is a decidedly bad idea. They will be out-of-date in no time, and the user would anyway need to download most the software, as we are a rolling release distro and our install media are rather minimal. In other words, you might end up with lots of unhappy customers.

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#9 2012-05-12 02:13:44

The8Bit
Member
Registered: 2012-05-10
Posts: 4

Re: Selling Discs?

Thanks for your opinions guys, I have decided I will go ahead with it, first I am contacting all of the linux distro (That I will sell) developers, and verifying it with them, currently I will be shipping to Australia only. The CDs will cost less than $3 including postage. Also, the CDs/DVDs will be burnt as orders come in, so they will always be up to date when you purchase them. I can post the link here once the website if done if thats not against the rules, I'll check.

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#10 2012-05-12 19:41:06

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Selling Discs?

The8Bit wrote:

Also, the CDs/DVDs will be burnt as orders come in, so they will always be up to date when you purchase them.

You fail to understand how Arch works.  That's why I advised against starting a business around it.

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#11 2012-05-13 17:26:58

Iranon
Member
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: Selling Discs?

Buying Linux on a shiny coater makes most sense if you don't have a decent internet connection. Arch needs bandwidth badly: rather little comes with the CD, it's designed with bleeding edge in mind and runs best when updated frequently.

Something stable with everything and the kitchen sink included would make more sense. Sell Arch and I'm fairly certain that most customers will find they bought something of no use to them.

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#12 2012-05-17 19:05:58

sm222
Member
Registered: 2011-02-08
Posts: 18

Re: Selling Discs?

A boxset would be cool that came with some kind of huge manual and a disk.

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#13 2012-06-20 13:20:06

Meskarune
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2009-03-21
Posts: 341
Website

Re: Selling Discs?

sm222 wrote:

A boxset would be cool that came with some kind of huge manual and a disk.

Actually I'd probably be interested in buying that.... A box set of all the live cd's of main distributions like debian, fedora, suse, etc. Maybe with a CD that has all the manuals in it? It would be handy for trying out different stuff and handy for students who are trying to get linux+ certs. Then you could easily keep up with changes in those OS's (at least the long term releases) Sounds like a it could at least be an interesting project. idk  how profitable it would be, but if you sold to colleges and advertised to comp-sci and engineering classes you might make a decent profit.


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