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Old 01-19-2003, 01:22 PM   #1
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Free, free,FREE=? no money, = Freedom?

hi all,

well am trying to write an article that would talk about linux .. first of all i wish if any body could recommened some sites, articles or links that have good comparisons of windows and linux ..

my question is .. as everybody knows .. FREE in open source means freedom .. .right? it doesn't mean Free of charge or no money ... right?

if the word FREE doesn't mean Free of Charge ..then why does Redhat allow people to download the full OS and use it and update everything for no money? is it something related to marketing ?

if the word Free means free of charge, why did suse charge money for downloading their OS ( the ready made one .. not the sources of course) is the source free of charge and the binaries are not free of charge?

well, just something i was thinking of and wanted to have more information about ...

thanks ( don't forget the links please)
Old 01-19-2003, 03:29 PM   #2
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the only site you'll need
Old 01-19-2003, 07:37 PM   #3
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Well, that's a trick question.

As I understand it, GNU-Linux gives you the freedom to do whatever you want to do with it as long as you GIVE away the source code upon request. Don't worry about MS going Linux cuz they're against the license which GNU-Linux is under: give away source code = sell the farm.

You get SuSE source code IF you buy the distro. Same for RH, MDK, and a ton others, except as far as I know, Lindows, which ticks off a lot of people.
Old 01-19-2003, 10:18 PM   #4
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Binaries are not required to be made freely available, just the source code, and oddly enough SuSe only retains copyright over one aspect of their install: the ISO image itself, its illegal to duplicate the ISO, not the packages contained within, just the disk image. OpenBSD does the same thing, but in both cases you can download a floppy image and install entirely from the net.

Also, seeing as how RedHat didn't pay for the existence of the source code, just for a about 50 guys to hack it together into a distro release... they aren't exactly giving away the farm as much as much as giving away homestead act land and taking a little hit in organizing the land rush. Then, if you're one of the more prosperous homesteaders, they'll charge you a hefty per hour to show you how to get the water pump working.

Of course, I might have just overanalogized, which I am prone to do.



Last edited by finegan; 01-19-2003 at 10:21 PM.
Old 01-20-2003, 01:37 AM   #5
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Originally posted by finegan
Of course, I might have just overanalogized, which I am prone to do.
* Bert scoots off to to look up "over-analogize" and comes back surprised *

There are the end-user Redhat isos which you can download from the site FOC but I think there's also the Advanced Server Edition which has lots more SMP support and other tweaks which you can't get free

Old 01-20-2003, 02:23 AM   #6
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First of all it's free as in freedom. Freedom to fiddle with the source-code. But that also means I can give it away for free or sell as I see fit, just as long as the source-code for any product I base on it is also freely available. That is why you can have a free source download from any distribution. The added value of the distros is organizing and support - and for that they can charge money.
Old 01-20-2003, 05:12 AM   #7
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Redhat are not obliged to give away ISOs, some distros do not. They do so because their business model relies upon services and support, so the more people using their product the better.

In the early days of Linux it was taken as a given that it was freely available, it was one reason it grew so quickly. Redhat continued that trend, and we're fortunate today that they have stuck to their guns regarding their business model - their product is entirely free and all the software they write is under the GPL (iirc).
Old 01-20-2003, 06:50 AM   #8
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thanks everybody

ok .. i've went through and read about free softwares and understand that there is a licsene that protects free softwares from missuse of there programs ..right?

it was mentioned that for a software to be free, the user should be able to use it the way he wants .. how can the owner of this free software protect his software from the misuse if the license itsself admits the (any way usage)??

how could this license protect my software?
now lets say i build a software and it is considered as a "free software" how could say that "murshed is the owner or the builder for this software" and not any body comes and lets say change one single line of the code and says i wrote the full code by my self?

do i need to register my software at or i just write in the code that this is a free software and it will be protected automatically??

Old 01-20-2003, 07:01 AM   #9
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it would seem that you've not actually read the GPL or LPGL, it's very indepth and is just as comprehensive as most commerical licenses. you do not need to register the software as such, just release it making it clear under which license you are using and you'll be fdine, assuming of course that you are not in breach of that license yourself, which can be quite easy if you've not read the license.


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