[CentOS] using RedHat binary packages?

Wed Jul 3 10:57:52 UTC 2019
Warren Young <warren at etr-usa.com>

On Jul 3, 2019, at 12:43 AM, Harald Dunkel <harald.dunkel at aixigo.com> wrote:
> Are RedHat's binary RPMs "poisoned" somehow, making it impossible for
> CentOS to redistribute RedHat's *binary* packages without going to jail?

RHEL binaries are only available to those with a RHEL subscription.  I don’t see anything in skimming through the RHEL license agreement that says that a RHEL subscription licensee couldn’t make a copy of those binaries for others, but since the act of producing those binaries is a work product, I don’t believe Red Hat needs license terms to bring a lawsuit aiming to prevent that: simple copyright law should suffice in pretty much every country that matters.

Since the core CentOS employees are now working for Red Hat, it may be possible for them to negotiate a separate agreement to avoid this, but what would be Red Hat’s incentive to do that?  Faster access to binaries is a selling point of a RHEL subscription.

So, if you want the binaries now, you know how to get them.

Even if you sweep aside the copyright and licensing issues somehow, the CentOS project *should* be able to bootstrap itself.  It’s not really free software if you can’t build it from source, and that requires work to produce.

The fact that it takes months of work by several talented people to produce a working and repeatable CentOS build system should tell you that its results are copyright protectable IP.  The fact that they’re willing to do this without charge to us should never be taken for granted.