FAQ item?: Using GnuPG in a business

Steve Butler sbutler@fchn.com
Tue Mar 26 21:41:02 2002

On the first page of http://www.gnupg.org/ is a link saying 'Free Software'
that takes a person to http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html.  Now, I
agree that a person has to read pretty far down that page to find

"Thus, you may have paid money to get copies of GNU software, or you may
have obtained copies at no charge. But regardless of how you got your
copies, you always have the freedom to copy and change the software, even to
sell copies. 

``Free software'' does not mean ``non-commercial''. A free program must be
available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial
distribution. Commercial development of free software is no longer unusual;
such free commercial software is very important."

Perhaps a disclaimer at the top or even back on www.gnupg.org where the
'Free Software' link is at, the wording could be changed from:

"It can be freely used, modified and distributed under the terms of the GNU
General Public Licence" (where Gnu General Public Licence is a link)

To say:

"This software may be freely used, modified and distributed in any
commercial or non-commercial environment without payment of royalties under
the terms of the Gnu General Public License"   (where Gnu General Public
License would still be a link)

An addition to the FAQ up toward the top (it's been awhile since I read it)
might also be appropriate.  I know it took me a couple of days of digging
through the web site before I could convince myself and my boss that this
was for real.

Stephen M Butler
Oracle Administrator
First Choice Health Network

sbutler@fchn.com GnuPG: 8B17 7384 AB86 D67F 7612 3587 5715 C880 1B32 D54B 
kg7je@attbi.com  GnuPG: 8A25 9726 D439 758D D846 E5D4 282A 5477 0385 81D8 

-----Original Message-----
From: David Shaw [mailto:dshaw@jabberwocky.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 10:26 AM
To: gnupg-users@gnupg.org
Subject: FAQ item?: Using GnuPG in a business

With the recent changes at NAI/pgp.com, there has been a definite
upswing with the "can I legally use GnuPG in my business?" questions.

While the GPL discussions are interesting, I suspect that the majority
of the people asking this question are companies that just want to use
GnuPG now that they can't use PGP.  Most questions of code
modification or distribution don't apply to them - they just want a
PGP-alike to use.  Naturally, the GPL lets them do this.

Could someone write this up and stick it on a web page somewhere?  If
nobody jumps at it, perhaps I'll have a crack at it in a couple of
days.  The idea here is to make it very clear that if they're just
talking about using it (rather than making their own version and
distributing the changes, or whatever else), then they don't need to
bother to read beyond the first paragraph.

Maybe this should be a FAQ - I saw Douglas Calvert volunteered to be
the new FAQ maintainer.


   David Shaw  |  dshaw@jabberwocky.com  |  WWW http://www.jabberwocky.com/
   "There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
      We don't believe this to be a coincidence." - Jeremy S. Anderson

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