$75 shipping GPL software… really not in the spirit

I’m doing a bit of research at the moment, and found that the product that I was looking into used GPL licensed software. I found an e-mail address on a page to request a copy of this software, so sent them a mail asking for the CDs to be delivered.

I get a reply an hour later:

Please note that our Network Access Solutions code itself is not open source covered by GPL licenses. Only the embedded LINUX and a few other applications that are also included in our VertX or EDGE products are covered by the GPL License.

If you are interested in becoming an HID Development Partner, we do offer API’s to our code for our non-Solo EDGE and VertX products enabling you to create your own custom Host interface. If this is the case, please contact Brenten Scott at bscott@hidglobal.com. Note that a mutual NDA will be required for these next steps.

However, if you are looking for the GPL LINUX source code used in our VertX and Edge products, then please send an email to gpl@hidglobal.comwith the following information:

Your name
Company Name (if applicable)
Phone Number
FAX number
company web address (if applicable)
email address
part number of desired GPL disk (6080-515 for Vertx/Edge)

We will then enter an order to fulfill your request. We cannot process any orders without all of the above information.

Please note that there is a $75 US shipping and handling charge for distributing free software and you will be contacted by telephone to get your payment preference and details. We accept MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. If you feel comfortable in providing your credit card information in your reply, feel free to do so.

Bah. $75 dollars? For shipping some CDs? Why not make it available for download?

I’m thinking of sending a reply:

Sorry, that’s a ridiculous amount of money for shipping a CD. I’m interested in finding vulnerabilities in your products – I’m sure I can find it for download on the internet anyway.

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