[CentOS] What happened to 6.1

Fri Oct 28 19:37:10 UTC 2011
Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko at gmail.com>

On Friday 28 October 2011 18:54:25 Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Ned Slider <ned at unixmail.co.uk> wrote:
> >> The question is, how can a contract containing restrictions on what
> >> you can do with GPL covered content not invalidate your own right to
> >> redistribute, given that the GPL prohibits additional restrictions?
> > 
> > As I understand, Red Hat's AUP is more about protecting content other
> > than sources and binaries that resides on RHN (yes, RHN is far more than
> > just a distribution channel for SRPMs/RPMs). Such content and material
> > is vital in supporting it's customers, and I believe the likes of Oracle
> > and Suse were leveraging such content to try to sell support to existing
> > RHEL customers. This is what Red Hat presumably seeks to stop.
> OK, but then it should have specific exceptions for GPL content
> already 'protected' from such proprietary behavior and restrictions.
> What is the point of the GPL existing if companies are allowed to add
> restrictions when they redistribute?

But RH did not add restrictions. Whatever you get from them, you are free to 
redistribute, in accord with GPL. There can be *no* *legal* *action* against 
you if you do so. OTOH, it is their choice whether or not to give you anything 
else in the future. GPL is not broken by the choice they make.

Of course it is a form of a blackmail --- "don't redistribute or we'll cut off 
future support" --- but that is not in contradiction with the GPL, due to the 
word "future". Rather, it seems to be a loophole in the GPL itself, and a 
pretty nifty one, if you ask me. :-) Also, the essential idea of the GPL (that 
source should be free) is preserved --- you can always take whatever has been 
given to you through RHN and fork a project, without legal worry.

In addition, it appears that the business strategy of RH is essentially based 
on this loophole, and now they are just pushing it to the extreme, thanks to 
the challange from Oracle. It's a good business strategy, and personally I 
agree with it --- RH has found a way to fight other companies from stealing 
their work and customers, while upholding the GPL and giving a lot back to the 
community through upstream patches and support of Fedora. Of course, there are 
some collateral damage side-effects for the clones like CentOS and SL, but then 
that's life, nobody is perfect... ;-)

Best, :-)