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Old 09-16-2003, 06:09 AM   #1
mctinny
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Licencing


Hello,

I'm a little confused about all the licensing involved with some Linux Distros.

From my understanding aren't allowed to charge for Linux, but they may charge for any manuals, packaging or support involved. Is that right?

Because some Distro's like RedHat will let you download the software for free, but others like Lindows won't. Does this mean that if I get Lindows from somewhere without paying for licensing (e.g. a friend) I'm pirating the software?

Thanks
 
Old 09-16-2003, 10:11 AM   #2
Greyweather
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"From my understanding aren't allowed to charge for Linux"

This is a common misinterpretation of the term "free software". Anyone can charge money for Linux under the terms of the GNU GPL. The flip side is they cannot prevent the buyers from giving copies away for free (or selling copies themselves).

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....eGPLAllowMoney

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

"Thus, you may have paid money to get copies of free software, or you may have obtained copies at no charge. But regardless of how you got your copies, you always have the freedom to copy and change the software, even to sell copies.

"Free software'' does not mean "non-commercial''. A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution. Commercial development of free software is no longer unusual; such free commercial software is very important."

Now, LindowsOS is not made up of 100% GPL software. Those proprietary, 3rd-party licensed software components are probably not liceneced under terms which allow for unauthorized copying. In fact it is a violation of the terms of the Lindows EULA to copy the Lindows OS. While most of the Lindows software is GPLed and you can distribute any of those individual components freely, the Lindows installer and Click-and-Run system are not, and being as integral to Lindows as they are, you cannot legally redistribute the LindowsOS without an explicet business arrangement with Lindows.

If Click-and-Run was based off of GPLed code from say, Debian's apt, then they would have to release Click-and-Run under the terms of the GPL. However, since Click-and-Run apparently does not use any GPLed code, Lindows can licence the program under any terms they like.

Last edited by Greyweather; 09-16-2003 at 10:59 AM.
 
Old 09-16-2003, 11:44 PM   #3
mctinny
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Wow, thanks Greyweather that was answered all my questions.

Thanks heaps!!!
 
Old 09-17-2003, 12:02 AM   #4
Greyweather
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You're welcome.
 
  


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