-- My Two Cents --
Let's not forget that CentOS is absolutely covered in the GPL, which,
by the way, is completely endorsed by Red Hat.
Aside from this, the ethics here were already addressed 18 years ago
with the release of the GPL, stating, among other things, that the
terms and conditions of the GPL are available to anybody receiving a
copy of the GPLed work ("the licensee"). Any licensee who adheres to
the terms and conditions is given permission to modify the work, as
well as to copy and redistribute the work or any derivative version.
The licensee is allowed to charge a fee for this service, or do this
free of charge."
The GPL additionally states that a distributor may not impose "further
restrictions on the rights granted by the GPL". This forbids e.g. the
distribution of the software under a non-disclosure agreement or
contract. Distributors under the GPL also grant a license for any of
their patents practiced by the software, to practice those patents in
If you want to support Red Hat monetarily, buy the product. But don't
condemn CentOS or any other organization for their use of Open Source
as it is intended to be used.
On 2/22/06, Andy Green <andy(a)warmcat.com> wrote:
Mike McCarty wrote:
> Andy Green wrote:
>> Identifying with RHAT and acknowledging the benefits we get from their
>> work are Good Things, but there is nothing wrong with respins IMO,
>> legally or morally, in fact its the whole idea.
> Actually, it's the only point of the GPL.
> If someone offers me something without expectation of recompense,
> and I take it without offering recompense, then what have I done
> which is reprehensible.
Well it is nice to agree about something.
> BTW, the feelings that things are not quite "fair" being expressed
> here are exactly the reason that the GPL and LGPL inhibit
> all commercial development for Linux. There are some people who
> think it isn't "fair".
"inhibit all commercial development for Linux" does not seem to be quite
called for, since we discuss this on a Redhat ML, which after all is a
relatively Large American Corporation with plenty of money commercially
developing Linux. My living at the moment is off the back of using
Linux commercially. And, eg, Nokia 770.
However I actually agree with your larger point: there are cultural
issues. In the news now copying music around is wrongly termed 'theft'
by industry suits in the same way MSFT used to use the word 'innovation'
at every opportunity. In education and publishing copying content
around is 'plagiarism'. Downloading has the concept of 'leeching' from
ancient times. Most cultures have a concept of gift exchange, where you
get something for free but you are obligated to return the favour or you
are a 'freeloader'. People don't want to see themselves in terms of
those negative words, that IMO is where the leeriness is coming from.
People are generally a bit unsure of what the deal is with this
liberally licensed stuff on both sides -- I saw it before with a
well-known website that publishes articles under Creative Commons but
which (unsuccessfully) tried to stop someone taking them at their word
and mirroring their content, as allowed by their license choice.
But... the confusion is part of the times, not a GPL problem IMO.
People all over are chewing through trying to work out what is
acceptable, like the Google judgement in the news today and opinions on
other Google enterprises like the book scanning to come. IMO over time
with, eg, great sites like http://jamendo.com
REALLY walking the walk,
the culture will gradually shift towards positive expectations about the
rights from liberally licensed media and software.
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