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Re: Fedora Project: Announcing New Direction


Setting reply-to to fedora-list, as this really isn't a development
discussion. Please follow up to that list only.

On Wed, 2003-10-01 at 11:49, Thomas Dodd wrote:
> > My understanding is that you have the rights under the open source
> > licenses to use, modify, and distribute (we cannot and do not want to
> > remove these), but to get maintenance and support *from us* you have to
> > subscribe per-system.
> Exactly. and if you don't license per-system you loose maintance and 
> support from Red Hat.

As I understand it, that's because the cost of the Red Hat service
product is N dollars per system. If you don't pay the cost of the
services, you don't receive the services.

As part of the service product, Red Hat distributes the software to you
under the terms of its open source licenses. At that point you have the
software forever. However, ongoing Red Hat services cost N dollars per
system deployed with RHEL.

The cost could have been N dollars absolute, or N dollars per employee,
or whatever. Whatever the pricing, if you don't pay for the product then
you can't use the product. The product in this case is services from Red
Hat, not the software binaries.

AFAIK there are no restrictions imposed other than that, it's just a
matter of: this product costs <whatever>.

What you're funding when you pay the cost is not just support incidents,
but maintaining updates for the 5-year lifetime, coordinating with OEMs
and ISVs to be sure stuff works, roadmap and future
progress/development, bandwidth to provide updates, marketing of Linux
so it succeeds, QA, performance testing, all the things that Red Hat
builds. You're paying to ensure an entire infrastructure that makes RHEL
a long-term viable OS people can rely on.

All of the above is only my personal take on it, the official statement
is the legal agreement itself.

> > But of course I am not a lawyer or official spokesperson, you really
> > have to read the agreement and you may want to talk to the Red Hat
> > salespeople as they answer questions about this kind of thing all day.
> They won't answer that question. I've emailed sales and got no response.
> I think they are happy to not give a definitive answer, so the worry 
> results in noone exercising there rights under the GPL (and others) and 
> keeps RHEL from being redistributed due to FUD.

I wish you had gotten a response. While it certainly isn't your
responsibility to track down our salespeople, calling on the phone might
be more effective.


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