[CentOS] Red Hat CEO: Go Ahead, Copy Our Software

Fri Aug 16 17:01:40 UTC 2013
Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu>

On 08/16/2013 11:06 AM, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Exactly my point. Everything is about derived works. So binaries 
> cannot be exempt from the requirement that the work as a whole can 
> only be distributed under a license that permits free redistribution 
> and that additional restrictions cannot be added. If you want to 
> refute that, please quote the section stating what you think permits it. 

Les, binaries aren't derived works.  They're machine-generated 

A derived work would be a change in the source code; binaries are direct 
machine-readable translations of unmodified source code.

And the GPL covers just the programs on the distribution that are, well, 
covered by the GPL at the source level.  Mere aggregation doesn't mean 
the whole iso is under the GPL, only the binaries that are compiled from 
GPL source are.  The copyright for the collection may prohibit 
distribution of the collection (in its aggregated form), but you might 
be able to distribute those individual binaries that are built from GPL 
sources; but you would violate your subscription agreement (a separate 
legal agreement and not part of the copyright license) if you did so.  
After all, the licensor of the GPL-covered program is in many cases not 
Red Hat; the subscription agreement is a contract with Red Hat and Red 
Hat alone.

The GPL is all about source code availability, not binary availability.  
To wit, see this section in the GPL FAQ:


And even https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ExportWarranties 
applies, as ITAR would represent a 'restriction' on distribution, no?

But again the GPL coverage doesn't extend to the aggregation in ISO 
form, only to the individual programs on the ISO.

Nothing in the GPL says that if you distribute the source to the public 
you must distribute binaries to the public; all it says is that if you 
distribute binaries you must distribute or include a written offer to 
distribute the source to the people to whom you have distributed 
binaries.  This is how SuSE (to use Johnny's example cross-thread) gets 
away with not having public distribution of the sources for SLES (if you 
find the publicly available sources for SLES with updates please let me 
know, and OpenSuSE is not the same thing).