[CentOS] What happened to 6.1

Fri Oct 28 16:13:35 UTC 2011
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On Friday, October 28, 2011 11:29:52 AM Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM, Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu> wrote:
> >
> >  Even GPL only requires redistribution by upstream to its customers.
> With _no additional restrictions_ on subsequent redistribution.

Losing access to RHN does not in any way restrict my redistribution of source I already have in my possession. 

'Restricting distribution' is popping a DMCA takedown notice to the operator of a site redistributing the source and getting it removed; they can't do that (I'm neither going to comment on nor am I going to speculate about binaries).  

But they can (and will) choose to not distribute anything to you in the future should you redistribute what you've received through RHN.  I could (hypothetically) give you everything I've gotten from RHN; I won't (and the GPL doesn't make me) because I want future access to RHN, but if that access were to be removed for whatever reason I have complete freedom to distribute any and all source I've gotten up to that point.

And, really, it now makes absolutely perfect business sense why they give public access to their sources: they can cut off RHN to a user who hasn't downloaded the source from RHN and point to the public ftp and say, in effect, 'now get your source there, but no more RHN for you.'  And that meets the letter of the GPL, which is all about source code access to those who have binaries.  At least in my opinion, and assuming that all GPL-covered source is actually available on the public site.

But none of that helps when you need access to binaries to verify binary compatibility, and the AUP for the place you get your binaries interferes, even if you're paying for access to those binaries.  And arguing about GPL won't help, since the GPL does not in any way cover all of the distribution.  

What will help is figuring out how someone with access to RHN AUP covered information can 'clean room' only the information required to confirm binary compatibility to the 'binary compatibility verifier' without violating the AUP.