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Re: Understanding GPL: was...What price do you want?



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On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 13:11:22 -0400, Buck wrote:

> Likewise, I could create a proprietary c-compiler and a text editor and
> link them from a modified GPL Library.
  ^^^^^^^^^
  ^^^^
Here, terminology is important. Don't confuse two completely separate
programs (which can have separate licences), which communicate with
eachother, with a proprietary program that is linked with a GPL'ed
library. As soon as the combined work can no longer be treated
as separate pieces, the GPL applies to the entire work when it
applies to one component at least. The difference to the
completely separate programs is that you could replace the
proprietary programs with GPL'ed programs. If that isn't
technically feasible, there is a licence conflict.

In your case, the "menu" program can be GPL and be designed to execute
external proprietary programs. No problem with that. The proprietary
components may not be linked or tied against your GPL'ed program,
however, in a way they cannot be treated as separate pieces any
longer.

> You mixed in the Red Hat logos and other trademarks.  From what I
> understand, I can copy, sell, or otherwise distribute Red Hat Linux 9.
> Is this correct?  Does not GPL give me that right?  RHL includes logos
> etc. 

When the artwork is GPL'ed, yes. Nevertheless, that doesn't nullify
trademark laws and copyright laws. You can take GPL'ed pieces and
copy, distribute or modify them according to the GPL. You may not sell
anything using Red Hat's trademarks, however, without explicit
permission from Red Hat. http://www.redhat.com/about/corporate/trademark/

> From what I understand, Fedora will be supported by updates only through
> the 4-6 months that it is the active release and 4-6 months while the
> following release is active.  This means the support period will vary
> from 8-12 months.  If, on the other hand, we were guaranteed a full 12
> months updates support for each release, I believe it would fill a very
> big nitch in the market.

Something like that could become reality if there were [preferably
payed] human resources to develop and maintain those products.

> As I see it, there is no
> intermediate step from no support to the all-or-nothing support by Red
> Hat.  I guess that Red Hat has decided that I am too small a fry to be
> worthy of working with. 

Depends highly on whether any new offerings which are still in the
queue will meet your requirements more than with the current
situation.

It's a bit of a race between planned official announcements from Red
Hat and the uproar of potential customers in the middle of a beta/test
period. Your primary contact should be Red Hat Sales, not this list.

> I don't know if there is a Linux that offers its latest release free and
> then they support it for 12 months for a reasonable fee, but I'll be
> looking for one that at least offers an acceptable compromise.

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as that when the release is free and
people are looking for ways to get free access to updates, too. In
addition to that, you want guaranteed, timely and tested updates most
likely... and a distributor who remains profitable.

- -- 
Michael, who doesn't reply to top posts and complete quotes anymore.

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