[24hoursupport] Re: history-web bug?

  • From: "Douglas O." <dsoliver@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 00:23:54 -0700


Fuzzy Logic wrote:

> While I'm no lawyer, the GPL says that the kernel is free.  However,
> section 1 of the GPL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html)  reads:
>>You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
>>you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

The free that the GPL refers to does not mean no money though 
ultimately that's what the result is. The free is more related to 
freedom. No one may claim ownership and thus restrict the 
transfer and development of free software. The GPL, I think, says 
that if you use GPLed code in a program that you write, you may 
not then claim ownership of the program but must keep it 
open/free for others to tinker with. Fuzzy, you probably know 
more about this.

> So, SuSE is quite within their rights to charge for making you a copy.

As are companies like CheapBytes and other resellers.

> Working with a company where part of my job is working on proprietary
> cryptographic code, and the other part is working on an open-sourced Linux
> device driver for the same cryptographic device, I have to say that the
> line between the two has to be kept very clear, and from that, I wanted to
> note that while the Linux kernel IS GPLed, work utilizing it (such as
> OpenOffice) is not necessarily.

But OpenOffice IS GPLed and LGPLed. It has nothing to do with the 
Linux kernel. It runs on GNU Linux, Windows, Mac, and others. It 
can be downloaded for free like other open source stuff.

The only distro I believe that tries to completely comply with 
the open source philosophy (whether or not they're successful) is 
Debian. Also, more trivia: Linux is perhaps more correctly called 
GNU Linux. The operating system is GNU with Linux as its kernel. 
Richard Stallman was at he head of GNU, while Linus Torvalds was 
at the head of Linux.

> So, to answer your last question: there is not, and cannot, be a
> closed-source version of the Linux kernel as that would violate the GPL.

And Richard Stallman being force behind the Free Software 
Foundation insists that GNU remain free open source.

All interesting stuff. -- d

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