Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codecs

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

What is a fair price for a Linux Mint CD/DVD for someone who doesn't know much about GNU/Linux?

$1.00
2
13%
$2.50
5
33%
$5.00
8
53%
 
Total votes : 15

Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codecs

Postby cc11rocks on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:45 am

I asked Clement Lefebvre the following question : "Can I sell any Linux Mint GNU/Linux CD/DVD for money that includes codecs (selling only the physical media and "work")?"

**Note : "Work" was described earlier in the email as "download and burn and include Linux Mint [ISO on a CD/DVD]"

His reply was : "Yes, provided you understand the risk you take in regards to software patents and DVD decryption (don't ask me, I'm not really sure myself). To be 100% safe you might want to sell the CD version (without the codecs) instead."

Could any of you answer or point me to an answer to where I can be absolutely certain? What does he mean by "risk"? Does risk mean the possibility of being sued by Adobe (Flash), Oracle (Java), or another company?

Thanks,
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby tdockery97 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:15 am

Yes, it absolutely means you could be sued by any of the above and probably a few others. That is why Mint offers a no-codec CD version for the US.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby cc11rocks on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:23 am

So this means I could not sell the KDE version (no CD version provided) either? And is it not possible to only sell the physical media and "work" done, which giving away Linux Mint 1x KDE GNU/Linux OS (and how would you differentiate this in a court of law)?

Thank you for the quick response.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby Pierre on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:15 am

So this means I could not sell the KDE version


YUP:- the US/JP software laws prohibit the sale of propriety software - eg: codec's.

glad that I don't live in either :D so - I can use them as much as I want / need to.

as stated above:- if you DO choose to include that software - eg: codec's. - you Could Get Sued - by their owner(s) :(

It's Your Risk :o
if think that you May NOT be able to Legally Defend your position:- then take the easier way out:- Don't include . . . . . .

It's NOT just Mint's O/S - here - it's any O/S that Includes that software - eg: codec's.
-> including Mint's parent - Ubuntu.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby monkeyboy on Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:13 pm

Go here http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html and give it a read. Enjoy
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby cc11rocks on Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:03 pm

This is something I wrote up in my spare time. If I had my customers sign this before they received the physical media, would the signature make it legal to sell the media?

I agree that hardware or software purchased from [name] may harm my computer, and that I will not hold him or any of his associates liable for any result from use of the purchased software or hardware. Furthermore, I understand that I am paying for the physical material (CD, DVD, or USB), the act of downloading the software from an online system, and the "burning" of the information unto the media. I understand that I am NOT paying for the actual information contained on the media, but for the physical medium for the software and the work done to be put on the disk. I agree to hold harmless [name] or anyone associated with the sold products. I understand that [name] does NOT own the software, and that he cannot be held liable for any issues contained. I also agree to follow any laws for the software enclosed on the physical media.

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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby monkeyboy on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:33 pm

It does not address the core problem of infringement but I suspect it would provide evidence of collusion. But then again what the heck do I know about the law? Good Luck
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby OldManHook on Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:21 am

If this is the case How do OSDisc and other Co Sell Linux Distros?

I build Linux Systems and sell (Included in Price of system) the DVD of Mint and a Clone of the New HD,Also when i install Linux on a Computer

I don't think you will have any problems as long as Linux Mint Don't come after you :) The most you will get is a C&D Order :(

Most of this Is FAIR USE :) :)
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby realitykid on Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:43 am

I'm thinking of possibly getting with a friend and distributing a few DVDs for a low price (cost of the individual medium) here in my town. Might need to find a place to get permission for this and also write a disclaimer and something explaining the legality of the software in question (Linux Mint and any other distro that my friend might want to include). This way we can help spread Linux in our small town.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby ElMugroso on Sat May 05, 2012 2:54 am

I don't see an issue. I downloaded the full DVD with codecs (I think) from a US university..And there were other US places where this was also available.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby monkeyboy on Sat May 05, 2012 12:55 pm

ElMugroso wrote:I don't see an issue. I downloaded the full DVD with codecs (I think) from a US university..And there were other US places where this was also available.


I suspect there is a legal difference between downloading off the net (where the recipient could be located anywhere in the world) and selling software with propitiatory code within in the US boarders. It really comes down to a licensing question best handled by someone versed in the law. Good Luck
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby DrHu on Sat May 05, 2012 2:14 pm

Instead of doing I want to sell Mint CDs in the USA, why not work with Clem + Mint distribution channels and get permission to do so..
--which might remove the risks of being sued from you directly
    Unless Clem isn't interested in such a deal, then take the risk if you are ready to do so..
    --it might or might not be a small risk, since IP/copywrite holders are becoming more litigious, when they find someone getting away with making profit from their works..

You could follow Clem's suggestion: sell the CD without the codecs, and provide some information about installing or getting the OS updated
--if you were giving the Cd's away for the cost of burning (or have the people who want it provide you with the blank CD or DVD), you probably could do that with little risk, since Linux operates usually with a copyleft policy, you can share it and install it on any number of computers
    Making a profit or selling a product changes the dynamic, and increases the scrutiny you may come under..

Based on these issues, I can't assign any rating to your poll, I would have no idea what a fair price might be for a burned Mint CD
--since it is already freely available on the Internet.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby ElMugroso on Sat May 05, 2012 5:09 pm

monkeyboy wrote:
ElMugroso wrote:I don't see an issue. I downloaded the full DVD with codecs (I think) from a US university..And there were other US places where this was also available.


I suspect there is a legal difference between downloading off the net (where the recipient could be located anywhere in the world) and selling software with propitiatory code within in the US boarders. It really comes down to a licensing question best handled by someone versed in the law. Good Luck


No absolute difference in buying it in the USA and taking it and using it in another country that I can see..Maybe pay sales tax.

Plus, I wonder WHO would be interested enough in sueing, and I am sure that thousands are downloading and using in the USA.

Also, sueing is usually done due to economic damagae, and I just don't see any one relly suffering enough to sue.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby cwwgateway on Sat May 05, 2012 5:27 pm

While I wouldn't do this (I've given away the cd version to a few people for free), I don't see how they would know you sold this unless you sold a lot of them and I don't know how they would prove that you sold anything because it's in cash. However, it is illegal and you put yourself at risk.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby monkeyboy on Sat May 05, 2012 11:16 pm

ElMugroso wrote:
monkeyboy wrote:
ElMugroso wrote:I don't see an issue. I downloaded the full DVD with codecs (I think) from a US university..And there were other US places where this was also available.


I suspect there is a legal difference between downloading off the net (where the recipient could be located anywhere in the world) and selling software with propitiatory code within in the US boarders. It really comes down to a licensing question best handled by someone versed in the law. Good Luck


No absolute difference in buying it in the USA and taking it and using it in another country that I can see..Maybe pay sales tax.

Plus, I wonder WHO would be interested enough in sueing, and I am sure that thousands are downloading and using in the USA.

Also, sueing is usually done due to economic damagae, and I just don't see any one relly suffering enough to sue.


Well then I bow to you superior knowledge of the legal system. Like I said I am not versed well enough in the law to be sure of my position.
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Re: Legality of selling Linux Mint DVDs In the US with codec

Postby ElMugroso on Sun May 06, 2012 5:42 am

Monkeyboy,

Please don't take these things personally. I stated my opinion, which like that of any one, of course, is limited.

Surely you know, as well as most, that that which is legal is not necessarily right; and that which is not legal is not necessarily evil.

The best to you.
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