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Re: Help to pick a license for my free source code project

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Help to pick a license for my free source code project
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 13:37:33 +0200

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
> > I'd  want to ask a question here. How does the entity paying these
> > programmers make their money? Do they do it with proprietary
> > software, in which case would not it be objectionable to you?
> Red Hat doesn't do it with proprietary software.

Red Hat does it by turning GPL'd software (majority of which is 
created by others, may I note) into pretty proprietary (copy use 
"licensed") software... a fee based Freedom Zero, so to speak. Red 
Hat locks in its clients my means of its certification programs 
with other proprietary software vendors like Oracle, IBM, etc.

Red Hat Subscription Agreement

Subscription agreements are the cornerstone of our business and are
required to:

• Provide access to our software offerings

• Set forth the appropriate service level agreements over time

• Recognize revenue, collect cash, and maintain our business model

• Ensure the appropriate open source license (General Public License
(GPL) based End User License Agreement (EULA)) is transferred to the

• Minimize legal risks to Red Hat

Red Hat Subscription Terms

Installed System

• Customer agrees to pay Red Hat the applicable subscription fees for each
Installed System.

• An "Installed System" means a system on which the Customer installs or
executes all or a portion of Red Hat software (may be a server, work
station, virtual machine, blade, node, partition, or engine).


• No trademark rights granted under agreement

• Cannot distribute Red Hat software with Red Hat marks (must remove)

Our subscription-based contract model may encounter customer
resistance or we may experience a decline in the demand for our

The subscription agreement used for many of our products, including
Red Hat Enterprise Linux, requires customers to agree to a
subscription for our services for each installed system on which they
deploy our subscription based products. At the same time, the
subscription agreement places no restriction on the customer's right
to redistribute the products. While we believe this practice complies
with the requirements of the GNU General Public License, and while we
have reviewed this practice with the Free Software Foundation, the
organization that maintains and provides interpretations of the GNU
General Public License, we may still encounter customer resistance to
this distribution model. To the extent we are unsuccessful in
promoting or defending this distribution model, our business and
operating results could be materially and adversely affected.

No wonder that RMS/FSF doesn't approve Red Hat's distro and urges that
we should all resist and stick to gNewSense and Utoto instead.

I bet that any attorney without a stake in "FOSS law" consultancy
business (so to speak) will tell you that Red Hat is just pretending
to sell support services for free software while actually contracting
expensive proprietary (copy use "licensed") software with some level
of free support.


"The revolution might take significantly longer than anticipated."

                                     -- The GNU Monk Harald Welte

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