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From: listuser at seifried.org (Kurt Seifried)
Subject: Fw: Red Hat Linux end-of-life updateandtransition planning

> > I find this culture of expecting things for free to be rather
interesting.
>
> As in, SuSe was given all of this software for free (with the exception
> of a few small tools)?

And they in turn are giving it away for free. Maybe not as conveniently as
you would like, but for free none-the-less. A perfect example for my "greed
culture" argument. I want my cake, I want to eat it, and I want you to give
me a plate, a fork, a napkin and a glass of milk for free while you're at
it. Oh and I want you to bus the table when I'm done.

> > The "gift culture" of BSD/GPL I understand and participate in, however
the
> > outgrowth of this seems to be a "greed culture", case in point people
who
> > demand easily printable PDF versions of documents I publish in HTML on
my
> > website or seem to expect that I will help them with their homework (no
> > joke).
>
> Isn't it more greedy that companies like RedHat could take the hard work
> - donated to the betterment of computer science - of the thousands of
> developers who created the projects they're redistributing, and charge
> for the compilation?  I don't think it's unreasonable at all to ask that

Uhhh. No? Obviously they add value, otherwise why would people bother paying
for it. It's is massively cheaper to pay vendors for commodity software and
support then to handle it ourselves (i.e. build and support our own Linux
distro). Red Hat still allows you to download source rpm's of their
_commercial_ products with only a few exceptions (primarily crupto export
issues or third party software that is not completely "free"). You can
compile and use this source code as you see fit, within the bounds of the
GPL/etc of course. Even OpenBSD doesn't give anything away for free, if you
want install CD"s you need to pay $40, or make your own (Theo owns the
copyright on the layout of the CD which prevents copying).

> companies like RedHat contribute their minor tools (installer, config,
> etc.) to the same beliefs that these developers contributed to when they
> gave their software to the world for free.  That was the original goal
> of the FSF, and not to commercialize off of someone else's work.  If the
> original goal of the FSF was to turn everyone into little Microsoft's,
> nobody would be releasing their software under the GPL.

So don't buy their software. Unlike MS they do not have a monopoly to
leverage. Use the FSF source code directly, have a great time. You can
download all the source you need and compile it yourself using a free
distribution such as Debian.

> Personally I think the GPL needs a rewrite to control the
> commercialization of the work of others whose original intention was to
> give it away.  I've no problem giving away my hard work, but not if my
> work is going to make someone else rich.  If I wanted to do that, I'd be
> developing more commercial apps and fewer open source apps.  Something
> between the QPL and the GPL would be nice.

It is still being given away. It is also (optionally) being sold in a
convenient package with support and other value added.

People are confusing what "free" is I think. The FSF/GPL/BSD/etc do not at
any point state that things must be "free as in free beer".

-Kurt


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