My understanding, based upon reading the GPL was that distributors were only responsible to those they've distributed the binary to, not the whole world. This seems to also be the stance taken by AnDosBox (another android dosbox clone), who distribute the sources only to their customers.
I believe DosBox Turbo to be in full compliance with the GPL. IANAL... and I'll admit its possible I could be wrong, so I am going to begin distributing the sources with the binary starting with the next release to be absolutely sure. Please give me a week or so to compile the new APK and upload the release.
The GPLv2 is not deficient in the manner you claim, at least in this case. This is a commercial distribution in a binary form, which means section 3(c) cannot apply. If installing the binary form also installs the complete corresponding source code, then the distributor satisfies section 3(a). If it does not, he must comply with section 3(b), which allows any third party to request the (complete corresponding) source code. The implication from the article summary is that 3(b) does apply, and that $3.99 is more than the "cost of physically performing source distribution" -- a blank CD plus US postage for same is certainly less than that.
I, for one, am not willing to pay $3.99 for an experiment where the outcome seems so likely to be unrewarding. I would guess that the source code would be incomplete and/or would not correspond to the version that one can get through Google Play, and that the distributor would also claim a GPLv2-incompatible license for some of the Android-specific bits. Because I do not hold a copyright that would be infringed in such a case, it is not worth my time or money to confirm my guess. Even if that guess were wrong, I would not get $3.99 worth of value from either the source or binary form of the app.
The source I've distributed to my end users includes all the necessary Android-specific bits to compile a working executable just like the one in the Google play store.
So, I did pay the $3.99 for DOSBox Turbo, installed it on my phone, and moved it to the SD card. When mounting that as a disk drive, the only thing I can see related to "dosbox" is
If you purchased DosBox Turbo from the Google Play store, click on the link next to the app icon and send me a request for the source (if you haven't already done so). I'm currently away from my main desk; however, I will get your request processed within 24 hours.
Thanks for the very lively and interesting discussion. The OP e-mailed a few days ago asking for the source code for DosBox Turbo. I informed him that I make available the source code to my users whom I've distributed a binary to and that the GPL specifically allows for this. I also make available the source code to the upsteam DosBox devs, and forwarded them copies not too long ago. Furthermore, I've contacted the aDosBox devs and offered to port many of my improvements into the free aDosBox software for everyone to benefit. I've never heard back from the aDosBox devs, and I am assuming it is a dead project, as there has been no activity in over a year and no response to my messages in over 4 months.
While I respect the OP's opinion that (actual price on Google play is $3.49) is too much to pay (don't forget Google takes 30% off the top), the reality is, a majority of my time is spent providing user support, fixing bugs in various Android devices that my users have, and implementing new features and suggestions from my user-base. I've amassed a collection of no less than 8 different Android devices, so that I can reproduce a wide range of reported bugs.
The OP and I may disagree on what my time is worth; however, we did have a constructive discussion about perhaps moving to a model of charging for the value add-ons (which I currently provide for free), although, I'm not sure how easy that would be within the Google Play framework. I also suggested to him that there were numerous avenues for him to obtain a copy of the binary free of charge if price was a factor (one only has to search the various Android warez sites) and that I had no problems with him going that route.
While the OP may disagree with me, I believe that being able to charge for GPL software (and comply with the GPL) allows for development of better software with features and bug fixes that would normally never occur. Believe me, it is very time-consuming to sit around for hours answering user e-mails, or spending hours to fix hard to reproduce bugs that occur only on a specific version of Android or a specific device. Few, if any people, would do that kind of tedious work for free.
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