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

Sat Aug 17 13:22:58 UTC 2013
Ljubomir Ljubojevic <centos at plnet.rs>

On 08/16/2013 07:06 PM, Johnny Hughes wrote:
> 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.

If they offer free version themselves, they they would have to publish 
sources and binaries for free version at the same time as for paid-for 
version, which would further lower their profits. Reasoning is that some 
people do not care about support, but expect fast security releases. So 
if Red Hat offered free version, they would not have incentive to pay 
for fast release.

If Red Hat tried to release packages even few days later then for 
paid-for version, they would be obvious bad guys in peoples eyes, 
greedy, etc.

By offering only source code, they make sure they are faster then those 
recompiling their source packages, so they are obvious good guys that 
provide for their customers, but at the same time they are obvious 
choice for all businesses. And I and majority of others are fine with that.

Ljubomir Ljubojevic
(Love is in the Air)
PL Computers
Serbia, Europe

StarOS, Mikrotik and CentOS/RHEL/Linux consultant