Re: Is linux free
From: Unruh (unruh-spam_at_physics.ubc.ca)
Date: 10 Oct 2005 23:46:03 GMT
Michael Heiming <michael+USENET@www.heiming.de> writes:
>In comp.os.linux.misc Unruh <email@example.com>:
>> Chris <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>>>> I thought Linux is free of cost. You can freely copy the installation
>>>> cds, distribute with your friends, download from the net, etc. But
>>>> since last one year (or maybe earlier, I might not have noticed), I am
>>>> seeing that most major distros are now pay-ware. And it isnt really
>>>> cheap to buy Linux.
>>>The Linux vendors are selling support *for* the software not
>>>the actual software itself. All the vendors do make the
>>>software available for download - sometimes a bit later than
>>>the supported version.
>> This is true, although Redhat for one tries hard to make the consumer
>> confused as to what the license covers, especially with their insistance on
>> being able to enter the premesis at any time and inspect for which machines
>> the software is installed on. They want you to think that the license is
>> for the software, and not the support.
>Please check the facts:
>"Any such audit shall only take place during Customer's normal
>business hours and upon no less than ten (10) days prior written
>notice from Red Hat. Red Hat shall conduct no more than one such
>audit in any twelve-month period [..]"
They have changes this from teh last time I read it ( 6 months or so ago).
It is still highly intrusive and is in conflict with the statement later on
that the Distribution is under the GPL. What in the world are they
auditing? Since you have the perfect right to copy the distro to as many
computers as you want, and since trademark law applies to the marketplace,
not what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom or office, what would
they look for on this audit?
>> Note that they have refused to answer a direct query as to what the license
>> actually covers.
>If you follow this:
This does NOT state anything about what the license covers. It states that
Redhat is jealous of their trademark, which they have a right to be. But
they do NOT have the right to restrict copying of a GPL distro via
I note that this document is a vast vast change over the previous (year
ago) document they had. And I think it still does not go far enough.
As they say, the crucial issue is whether something causes confusion in the
marketplace. If I take the exact distribution that redhat supplies and
place it onto a CDROm and state what is on that cdrom is the Redhat
distribution, what I am saying is both true, and unlikely to cause
confusion in the marketplace. In fact my taking that same distribution and
calling it Blanc Chapeau is what is liable to cause confusion in the
marketplace. I do not believe that they would have a leg to stand on in
court if they were to try to prevent me from calling it the Redhat
distribution. However that does not mean that they would not sic their
lawyers onto me and threaten me with costly court actions. Look at SCO and
Linux. Having no case need not prevent court actions.
However, Redhat admits that their files are critical to the distributions
You must modify the files identified as REDHAT-LOGOS and ANACONDA-IMAGES so
as to remove alluse of images containing the Red Hat trademark or Red Hats
Shadow Man logo. Note that mere deletion of these files may corrupt the software.
If the removal of the files "may corrupt the software" then those file are
certainly not "mere aggregation". And their presence is being used to limit
the rights to copy the software, in direct contravention of the GPL.
>Seems as if it's based on the trademark "Redhat" and those two
>rpm containing images/logos, if you remove them, you are free to
>do what you like under GPL, like redistribution. CentOS and
>others do just that.
The question is whether or not they are obliged to do that. I would argue
that they are not.