Thanks to everyone who commented on this thread so far. I just wanted to tie up any loose threads remaining.
There was a lingering question about the legality or ethicality (is that a word??) of taking the Moodle code, adapting it, and re-selling it for a profit. Seems as though Martin put that issue to rest in the thread about Moodle hosting, when he wrote:
"anyone is free to make money from Moodle and NOT contribute any to Moodle development - thousands of people around the world do so..."
That's a very generous view. Yet I wonder about the idea of taking and not giving back. Seems to me that if everyone did this, there would be no virtuous projects like Moodle. In fact, isn't this the exact scenario that many for-profit businesses fear most? ("I invest time and money to create something, and then someone just takes it, does it better, and puts me out of business"). Clearly Martin doesn't fear that will happen, but I still wonder if it's ethical to advise a client to use a product that is making a profit from Moodle and not giving back to the project.
One other lingering question for me is about the relative value of picking a Moodle derivative instead of the genuine article. Here's a claim from Easy Campus's web page:
"In minutes, you can set up your online school and create an online course that looks professional and that meets the most stringent learning requirements. It’s safer and more convenient than free alternatives like Moodle and far cheaper than commercial LMS software like Blackboard." [italics added for emphasis]
Convenience is in the eye of the beholder, surely. But "safer"? Elsewhere the site talks about monitoring a site for any signs of foul play, so perhaps that's how they think their platform is more secure. Anyway, I'd be grateful for any insight people could offer into these issues. Thanks.