On Wed, 2006-02-22 at 13:18, Christofer C. Bell wrote:
That is *not* the spirit of Free software. That *not*
"the whole idea."
The whole idea of the GPL is that if you receive something you
must be allowed to redistribute it without any additional
restrictions and any modifications must also be covered by
the GPL. And if you do redistribute you must make the source
available. RedHat does not have any choice about doing this
with software that is already covered by the GPL. They would
not have to apply the GPL to their own work if it is not
a modification of an existing work, but they have chosen
to do so, explicitly giving others permission to redistribute.
They also would not be required to provide their source
modifications to the programs that are under other licenses
like X, apache, and perl but they do that as well. In
some ways it is a business advantage to have a large body
of users/administrators that have learned to use the
RedHat-style setup and thus likely to purchase a supported
version when the need arises. The alternative would simply
be to use some different distribution like Debian or Ubuntu
that would require unlearning all the RH-specific concepts.
Don't forget that while RedHat is largely responsible for
the popularity of Linux and has contributed much to the
development of many packages, nearly all of those packages
originated elsewhere and are available in many other distributions.