[coreboot] Commerical support for Linux BIOS

Peter Stuge peter at stuge.se
Tue Jan 15 04:48:44 CET 2008


On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 09:26:27PM -0500, Ward Vandewege wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 02:58:07AM +0100, Peter Stuge wrote:
> > Note that it's not really legally possible to sell you a firmware
> > based on coreboot
> That's not correct. It's perfectly possible and allowed. It's just
> that the source also needs be provided (as per the requirements of
> the GPL), and that nobody can stop you - the customer - from
> redistributing that source code under the GPL.

Thanks for the correction!

> So what Peter is saying here, I think, is that it is difficult to
> charge for software under the GPL because your price point can be
> undercut quite easily.

Well, no, but that is a good point.

I should have been more clear - what I tried (but failed) to explain
is that it's not possible to sell a coreboot firmware under any terms
like those that traditional BIOS vendors use since their source code
uses a different license.

I also meant to say that the practical way to "purchase" a coreboot
firmware is to hire someone to write the neccessary code, and that
code will most likely automatically be GPL and so it should be
contributed back into the project repository - meaning that the
paying customer will not get much exclusive in the purchase, except
of course bragging rights and whatever customization benefits that
come from running coreboot on the particular hardware platform.

> > - since coreboot is GPL you are always entitled
> > to receive the source code free of charge. 
> That is actually not 100% correct - see section 6 of the GPL

Again - thanks for correcting! I only think online distribution and
shall go and sleep now. :)


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