[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [linrad] Linrad and Mandrake 9.2
- Subject: Re: [linrad] Linrad and Mandrake 9.2
- From: Frank Brickle <brickle@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 15:11:14 -0500
> It seems
Mandrake is starting to get away a bit fom the Open Source ethos towards
a commercial model - how is supporting a commercial entity suporting the
The businesses making money off Linux provide services --
integration, support, customization, administration. That's
been one of the cardinal principles of Open Source since the
beginning. So far it's working pretty well for RedHat, SuSE,
IBM, and now Mandrake again.
It can't be stressed often enough that the "free" in "free
software" is used in the same sense as in "free speech," not
as in "free beer." The GPL doesn't rule out charging money.
What it does say is
(1) If you distribute a piece of GPL'ed software -- either
for free or for a fee -- you also must offer to make the
source code available for a specified period of time, and
for no more than the cost of media and duplication.
(2) If you modify a piece of GPL'ed software and then
distribute it, you must do so under the same terms as (1),
including your modifications.
The key here is distribution. You can modify and use GPL'ed
code to your heart's content for your own purposes without
revealing a line of the source code to anybody. The GPL only
gets involved if you start passing the software on to
someone else. Another important point is that, unless
otherwise provided for, copyrights remain with the owners of
the software -- usually the authors. GPL is not public domain.
Big-business users of Open Source software are paying big
bucks to have that software installed, maintained, and
adapted to their needs. But they aren't paying for the core
software itself. That's the model.
When you buy a distro from Mandrake, you're paying for the
effort that went into organizing and validating the distro,
some installation support, and ongoing access to the most
up-to-date versions of the constituent software. None of
this is anything you couldn't in principle do for yourself
and for free. Chances are you don't want to, however.