Replies of my Request to RH - SUSE - DEBIAN

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bazoukas
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Replies of my Request to RH - SUSE - DEBIAN

Post by bazoukas » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:10 pm

So far I only recieved a reply from SUSE.
Here is my Email and their answer follows.
Dear Mr/Ms
>
> I am Majoring in CIS.
> We just formed a new Programming Club and I am very keen in
introducing Linux to the rest of the students as a programming
platform. Kinda like making a small Linux shop if you will.
>
> I am wondering about the following though. Is it legal to Copy
and distribute 8.1 WITHOUT making any kind of profit. Simply making
copies to CDs and giving them to students who are intrested.
> As far I can understand you include software in Suse that might
not grant me permission to do this.
> If this is not possible, can you point me to another direction
on how to do this?
>
> I am a big fan of Linux and I try to inform other people about
it. Your Distro is user friendly and polished but at the same time I do not want to brake the law or go behind your back.
>
> Thank you.


SUSE's Answer


Dear SuSE Customer,

thank you for your request:


Sharing SuSE Linux for free is okay as long as it's not part of any
commercial bundle. For example, if someone who sells PCs were to
include SuSE Linux with every PC would try to claim "but I
include it for free" this argument would be wrong, because he
DOES make money and he DOES try to make his PC offering more
attractive by bundling SuSE Linux, making more money in the end
compared to not bundling SuSE Linux. This kind of situation is what
the SuSE YaST license is about, it doesn't keep you from sharing SuSE
Linux in the situation you describe.

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Post by Void Main » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:16 pm

Cool, they mention "Yast" in particular which is what I thought was the only thing that they had a special license for. I also thought it ok to share SuSE and it makes me wonder why we don't see the latest ISO images available for download on some of the free download sites. I have seen SuSE ISOs available for download, just not the latest version. Of course you can do a network install directly from SuSE's web site of the latest version, or create your own ISO from the FTP site.

I also believe Red Hat will tell you a similar thing. I am fairly certain that you can take the Downloaded ISO and hand it out to whomever you want. In fact I beleive them to be even more lenient than SuSE in this regard. I have only seen a problem with certain CD warehouse places that sell cheap CDs.

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Post by Calum » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:37 pm

that's great!
i always thought RH and SuSE were trying to put a stop to all that!
well good on them.

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Post by bazoukas » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:38 pm

Yep I have noticed the same thing as well.
I couldnt find the latest of SUSE. I guess they kinda make it a bit hard for you to get it for free by doing the FTP thing. Who knows.

I think I didnt send the email at RH at the right person thats why it might take a but longer for a reply. I will resent again the email but as you said I think they will even more flexible since they give for free their latest version with out making it hard for the user.

Intresting enough though I never thought they wouldnt let a PC vendor to put Linux in it with out asking a percentage of the vendors profit. It kinda makes sense though, no?

On another note and am sure you will understand what I will say, I really dont mind paying for Linux. Infact I went ahead and bought RH8 ( i also downloaded it) and I also bought SUSE 8.1. I dont mind giving my money for a software that is superior in so many ways. Heck i would still buy it even if it wasnt as good as it is now. But bottom line I am happy to give money to a cause that I know has value in so many levels (materialistic and not only).

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Post by Void Main » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:46 pm

But you are not actually paying for the software, you are paying for the packaging and a limited amount of support. Nothing wrong with that if you need it but it bothers me when I see people say they are paying for the software when they purchase Red Hat, SuSE, etc. Sure Red Hat and SuSE have done some programming (e.g. Yast in SuSE, redhat-config-* tools in Red Hat, along with branding and patching, etc) but the vast majority of software is done by other people who don't see any of your money.

I know you know that and I also believe that paying for a distro is a good thing but I just hate to see credit going to the wrong place or a false sense that by paying for the distro that the end programmer somehow gets his share which he doesn't.

As you know I am a strong Red Hat advocate and I have purchased their distro on several occasions. I can also say that I have used it on many more machines than the number of copies I have purchased which is perfectly within my rights. In fact it's perfectly within my rights to use their software without paying for it at all. It was just a convenience thing when I purchased it in the past. I never used the support or read the documentation that came with the package which is really what I was paying for in the first place. Now if I had installed Microsoft on all of the Machines that I have installed Red Hat on, I would be one broke dude.
Last edited by Void Main on Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by bazoukas » Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:37 pm

I totally agree with you on that one. But isnt it like free advertisment? For example QT Troll. I wouldnt know that program that existed even if they hit me in the head with it. But since it came with RH I learned about it. And I do believe that QT troll for example wants you to pay for lisences. There was an article about it grom George Staikos (He is a programmer for KDE using Troll) and he had an article about costs of using QT and such.

http://dot.kde.org/1049080057/

Dont you agree though that if a Distro puts together a good set of packages (not bug infested) they do have to get some money for that? Simply for the effort of all the research they have put on it.

But I see what you are saying about how programmers not getting payed for it but at the end if a big Distro promotes their Software doesnt that help the developers of that application get recognized even more?

I dunno, these are just some thoughts of mine .

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Post by Void Main » Tue Apr 22, 2003 6:23 pm

bazoukas wrote:I totally agree with you on that one. But isnt it like free advertisment? For example QT Troll. I wouldnt know that program that existed even if they hit me in the head with it. But since it came with RH I learned about it. And I do believe that QT troll for example wants you to pay for lisences. There was an article about it grom George Staikos (He is a programmer for KDE using Troll) and he had an article about costs of using QT and such.
I assume you are referring to Qt by Trolltech. I don't understand your concern over this. The Qt that comes with Red Hat is GPL and has been since September of 2000:

http://www.trolltech.com/newsroom/annou ... 00043.html

Now I believe they have a separate license if you want to write proprietary applications based on Qt where you would have to pay a license fee. I find this perfectly acceptable and a downright good business model.
Dont you agree though that if a Distro puts together a good set of packages (not bug infested) they do have to get some money for that? Simply for the effort of all the research they have put on it.
No, not really, and apparently most distro companies don't believe that either or they wouldn't offer a free download. These distro vendors make their cash off of support, obviously the support is easier if their distro is well put together and not bug infested. Not once has Red Hat ever tried to "shame" me into purchasing their distro. Obviously they have to make a certain amount of money to stay in business but in Red Hat's case it's through selling support, services, education (RHCE), etc. Of course they don't have their RHAS available for download so I don't know where to go with that one... I guess it's why I have never touched RHAS personally.
But I see what you are saying about how programmers not getting payed for it but at the end if a big Distro promotes their Software doesnt that help the developers of that application get recognized even more?
Well most open source developers are not in it for the money or for the recognition. They are in it because they have written software to solve a problem of theirs and wanted to share it with others. In return they reap software that other people have written, it's really the basic point of open source. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Obviously we benefit by having the major distros put this software together into a nice easy to install package. I have no problem with people paying for it and supporting the distro. No one should be shamed into it though. People who can afford it and feel like passing a little love, by all means do it. People who are on a tight budget, download and use the software, that's what it's there for. If later on down the road it has improved your business and are prospering from it you may feel like passing on a little love and get support from the horses mouth rather than forums like this, by all means go for it, but don't feel obligated. And there is always Debian that is just as bit as good if not better than most other distros out there that will always be free and open.

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Post by bazoukas » Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:47 am

Red Hat has yet to send me a reply :(


Ill give them a call :twisted:

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Post by Ice9 » Fri May 09, 2003 8:31 am

Have you received a reply from Red Hat yet?
I find this a very cool idea and I'm somewhat interested in doing something similar over here in Belgium.

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Post by Linux Frank » Fri May 09, 2003 2:42 pm

One would imagine that the download version is freely distibutable. I certainly hope so because I habitually give away copies of RH, Slack, Mandrake, and if someone asks me for a different distro I would happily oblige.

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Post by Void Main » Fri May 09, 2003 2:57 pm

Yes, you can pass the download version around. The questions come in if you charge for redistributing it (at least it's a question in my mind). You really should have a copy of the SRPM disks in case the people you give it to want the source, which would comply with the GPL.

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Post by X11 » Sun May 11, 2003 4:03 pm

Technically, we could get the distro, and remove any software that SUSE "Owns" and make new or ereplace it with existing software. (Includeing the Installer, ect) they dont own anything else, the rest of the software bundled is "Public Domain" which YOU own and so does EVERYONE ELSE which you could legally distribute.

Or you could just pay for it ;-)

(You could do that with Lindows or Lycoris as well :-) )

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Post by Calum » Mon May 12, 2003 1:46 am

it would probably be easier however to just put together your own distro using a stock kernel, and a load of software from the GNU and various *BSD projects et cetera, since the work is already done in both cases and the task of slapping it all together is likely to be easier than pulling SuSE apart without breaking anything and then filling in the gaps.

Of course in either situation you can no longer use the word 'SuSE' to describe the resultant distro, which is mainly the reason for wanting SuSE to be freely distributable, because you want to give newbies a dostro whose name they recognise. If i read this thread correctly SuSE said it was okay to make their software available under the terms of the GPL though...

i do have a copy of red hat 8 where they took out a couple of things in order to get around red hat's funny licence that they brought 8.0 out under, as far as i can tell the only thing i have noticed is different is the grub pixmap and the startup logos for all the desktop environments have been replaced with a plain cyan field with a pitcure of tux on top instead of the default shadowman pictures.

(off topic alert, sorry!)

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