OBDKey software and the GPL
I split this post from this thread: Anyone with OBD Key software?
You can, indeed, sell the software for money.
The GPL means you also must offer people [to whom you distribute your work] your modifications under the same license as you received permission to redistribute the original work - the GPL. So all it would take it one person to buy your stuff, and they can redistribute it after they get it from you.
The GPL absolutely doesn't preclude people making money from GPL software. It just precludes you from stopping people from redistributing your modifications to someone else's GPL'd code. Read Stallman's book
["Free as in Freedom"] for a cetechismic covering of this topic.
First of all, let me make one thing clear: I have absolutely nothing to gain by siding with OBDKey on this issue. KBM Systems is ScanTool.net's direct competitor.
Second, I am familiar with Stallman's works (btw, I consider many of his ideas to be wacky -- but that's a topic for another time :)), and our own software is distributed under the GPL (we never made any money from it). However, if you go to freeRTOS.com, you can see for yourself that:
1. FreeRTOS is provided under the GPL.
2. OpenRTOS is the same exact code, that is distributed under a commercial license and makes no reference to the GPL (I'm quoting):
OpenRTOS is FreeRTOS.org provided under a commercial license that makes no reference to the GPL - modified or otherwise.
I don't know all the details, but it is conceivable that Dana Peters sold the source code for OBDGauge to OBDKey (I know for a fact that he's done it for other companies).
Well, exactly! The GPL protects Dana from having his OBDGauge code hijacked by third parties. HOWEVER, Dana can take his software, and provide it under a commercial (non-GPL) license to whomever he chooses.
The GPL absolutely doesn't preclude people making money from GPL software. It just precludes you from stopping people from redistributing your modifications to someone else's GPL'd code.