Source Code Broker
<email@example.com> Rahul Miller
has extended an offer to be a "source code broker" so that dealing
with FSF copyleft clauses relating to the "offering of source code"
does not need to be burdensome to those that develop software.
Rahul plans not to charge anything to the people providing source, but rather charge clients who order the source the "nominal distribution charge" (presently targeted at $100). People who want to use FSF software but not distribute source send a copy off to the source code broker, who takes responsibility for the re-distribution of the result.
If his service were to become too popular from the developers' perspective (e.g. many, many developers are contributing sources to the "Brokerage Archive," whilst relatively few people are paying to get copies of source code packages, I would expect to see there be an "archiving charge" perhaps on the order of $100 to developers to defray the costs of managing and storing tapes.
If the service were actually to get popular, it is entirely likely that costs and pricing would drop. A "busy broker" should be able to individually master a CD-ROM for about $15, and ship it for another $5. And as a CD can typically hold multiple bundles of source code, the costs may be further amortized. (This may overestimate costs somewhat; recordable CD-R blanks can be obtained in bulk for around $1 USD.)
Moreover, if enough "packages" can fit on a 660MB CD-ROM, it may make sense to do a "master" and stamp a bunch of copies, thus pulling the per-unit cost down further.
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