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

Fri Aug 16 17:06:22 UTC 2013
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

On 08/16/2013 10:16 AM, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM, Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org> wrote:
>> The bottom line ... Robert is correct, the relationship is certainly
>> symbiotic and not parasitic.  Red Hat (the company) needs to make money,
>> and software that is built on the same code base is available for free
>> as well.  It is a win-win ... which is exactly what the GPL provides for.
> Red Hat is clearly aware that they would never have become a popular
> distribution in the first place without their own freely
> redistributable release.    My question is why they now think it is
> better to not provide that directly - and get the brand recognition,
> community input, and potential support customers using the exact code
> as they will as paying customers.  Why push them to work-alikes with
> different branding where many users won't even understand the
> relationship, with the obvious danger that another brand may compete
> for paid support?

If you are asking for an opinion, I actually agree that they (Red Hat)
should also give it away for free.  However, nothing requires them to do
so.   Since they didn't, CentOS was created and fills that niche.

Again, they need to make money and because of that, they decided not to
distribute the binaries for free.  That is a valid business decision. 
Its not the only decision that could be made and it might not be the
correct one, but its the one they made.

While the code base the RPMs are built from is the same, but the built
binary software is NOT exactly the same.  Red Hat can argue that
therefore CentOS (or Scientific Linux, or Oracle Linux) is similar but
not the same and if you want the real software .. OR .. if you want SLA
support, then you should buy access from RHN.  AND, they can also say,
if you don't want to buy anything and that is your final decision, there
is something that is similar you can use and if you ever need support
then you can move to RHEL.  As their CEO said, SUSE can not do that.

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