How to do an end run around the GPL with retail software

1. Include a GPL-based program in your retail software version 1.0.
2. 3 months after 1.0 is released, release version 1.1 and cease distributing 1.0.
3. Delete the sources to 1.0.
4. Repeat ad infinitum.
5. ???
6. Profit!

This way you only have to satisfy source requests from customers who request it up front immediately after their purchase. Immediately after a direct purchase from you, that is — if the boxed software is sold by a distribution house after you have moved to a new version, well that’s no longer your problem, is it? And those pesky customers who have to maintain your software in the field will just have to do without the sources to any prior versions that you no longer distribute. Bonus points if they purchase upgrades to the new version because of this scheme.

For extra evil, you can refer customers who ask for source to a generic upstream mirror for the “sources”, as long as they don’t make enough noise about your violation of the GPL.

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