[SATLUG] Fedora 9

Daniel Givens daniel at rugmonster.org
Wed May 21 16:45:21 CDT 2008


On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 4:15 PM, Chris Lemire <good_bye300 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I'm pretty sure I'll receive some biased views about this, but is it right for Redhat to make profit off a free open source project? Isn't the new gpl made to prevent that and such things as Tivo? Redhat didn't come up with CentOS. Fedora community developers are freely contributing to a commercial product, REDHAT!!!

There is nothing in the GPL that says you can't make money off of
GPL'd software.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#DoesTheGPLAllowDownloadFee

When you pay for RHEL, you're not paying for the software. You are
paying the binaries, the printed documentation, the packaging, the
subscription to the Red Hat Network and support services. The only
thing the GPL compels Red Hat, or any other entity, to make the source
code available. That's where CentOS comes from. Red Hat goes one step
further and gives out the RPM specs. CentOS takes those source RPMs,
removed the content covered under Red Hat's copyrights (such as
brandings) and builds binaries from them. And believe it or not,
anyone contributing to any software licensed under the GPL is
potentially contributing to a commercial product. The vendor selling
the software just has to play by the rules.

> I'm getting looked down upon by my friends for using Fedora though I do have to say there are some things I really like about it. They see it as one step towards M$ just like Suse signing a deal with them.

It wasn't SUSE that signed a deal with Microsoft. Novell signed that
agreement and they have the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server
products. OpenSUSE is the Fedora of the Novell products. Again, an
independently governed project with the backing of a corporate entity.
The cold hard truth is that most of the work that has made Linux what
it is today has been sponsored and paid for by corporate entities such
as Red Hat, Novell, Intel, Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu), and
many many more.

Corporations are not evil for the simple fact that they are
corporations. Remember who most of America works for... commercial
entities who's purpose it is to make money. The reason we work for
them is because we need to make money to buy the things they sell.
Selling things isn't evil. Making money isn't evil. The people behind
the free software movement believe in those things too. They just hold
the belief that software should be free as in speech because they want
to be able to make their computers work the way they want them to and
to have the right to change the software they run if they see a need
to do so. Proprietary (note that I'm not saying commercial) software
restricts the user and requires them to accept it as is, even if the
user sees ways to make it work better for them.

You should visit the Free Software Foundation and GNU Project's
websites and read their philosophical views on software freedom. Agree
with them or not, they are the ones that wrote the GPL and are still
the governing body behind it and many related software licenses.

http://www.fsf.org
http://www.gnu.org

Daniel


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