Linux/GNU project question

DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
We all know Linux is free due to it's Open Sourcing and Copyleft law

Well how do the software developers/Support make their money if anyone can obtain copies for free and then redistribute them?

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Depends on the type of software. Training and support contracts are popular amongst enterprise-level software. Donations for smaller projects. Some people just code for fun too.
  • DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
    So what your saying is.. They make their money off Support of their products.. Not selling it?

    The weird thing is.. Why do stores sell Redhat, Debian and Ubuntu? if it's suppose to be free ?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You'll have to read those actual licenses, but I believe they typically allow sales as long as free copies are available. Some people just like to have the physical media, manuals, etc.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    So what your saying is.. They make their money off Support of their products.. Not selling it?

    The weird thing is.. Why do stores sell Redhat, Debian and Ubuntu? if it's suppose to be free ?

    When you are purchasing the software at a store you are not purchasing the license to the software. You are getting the media, a basic manual, and usually one year of basic support. You also get the warm fuzzies of helping to support your favorit distro by sending them some $$$.
  • DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
    I just cant make any sense out of that... That is directly violating the Free & Open Source (F/OSS) defitinitions published by Michael Tiemann. Also Richard Stallman who originated the Free Software movement for Linux.
  • DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
    Bruce Perens* not Michael Tiemann- excuse me
  • DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
    There is a GNU General Public License that states "you can distribute and share the OS and make sure it is free for all users." Directly from the License itself.

    So where do these other Linux based OS's like Redhat, Debian, and Ubuntu get off on selling theres?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You can get all of those for free (Redhat is a bit, tricky, but the people at CentOS take care of that for you).

    How does that quote imply that they can't also sell a boxed copy if they want to? Are they supposed to just eat the costs of printing manuals, pressing media, etc.?
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    There is a GNU General Public License that states "you can distribute and share the OS and make sure it is free for all users." Directly from the License itself.

    So where do these other Linux based OS's like Redhat, Debian, and Ubuntu get off on selling theres?

    Like Dynamic and I said, they are not selling you the license. They are selling you the media, the printed manual, and a basic support agreement. When you download the freely available ISOs you get none of those. People who might want to start using Linux in their enterprise might feel better about the venture if the get support. So the basic support agreement is a big deal for that. GPL does not prohibit you from including the software in a sale, it prohibits you from ONLY selling the software. You MUST provide a freely available version and each and every distro you named clearly provides such a version.
  • kalebkspkalebksp Member Posts: 1,033 ■■■■■□□□□□
    "you can distribute and share the OS and make sure it is free for all users." Directly from the License itself.
    Would you mind showing me where any version of the GPL says that?

    Here's an actual quote from the GPL v2: "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." As you can see the GPL explicitly allows one to charge a fee for the distribution of GPL licensed software.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Bruce Perens* not Michael Tiemann- excuse me

    I believe you need to re-read his definition of OpenSource....
    "Everyone who wants to is allowed to sell an Open Source program, so prices will be low and development to reach new markets will be rapid."

    This is taken directly from Perens.com
    The Open Source Definition
  • DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
    Like Dynamic and I said, they are not selling you the license. They are selling you the media, the printed manual, and a basic support agreement. When you download the freely available ISOs you get none of those. People who might want to start using Linux in their enterprise might feel better about the venture if the get support. So the basic support agreement is a big deal for that. GPL does not prohibit you from including the software in a sale, it prohibits you from ONLY selling the software. You MUST provide a freely available version and each and every distro you named clearly provides such a version.

    So okay, they can sell it, but as long as they also provide a free version is what your saying? The downloadable ones dont include the support agreement and printed manual right?

    I dont know what "ISO's" are.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    They're CD/DVD images you can burn to disc or load up in virtualization software.
  • DerekAustin26DerekAustin26 Member Posts: 275
    I think "open source" replaced "free software" I dont think you can just download free versions of Redhat, Suse, Debian, or Ubuntu.

    Why? Because at first Venture Capitalists were turning down Larry Augustin (CEO of VA Linux Systems) because of the words "free software"

    I think the only thing that's free is just Linux, not the revised commercialized versions like Redhat, Suse, Debian or Ubuntu.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What are you talking about? You can go to all their websites and download them (CentOS for RedHat).
  • sidsanderssidsanders Member Posts: 217 ■■■□□□□□□□
    redhat backs this one: Fedora Project
    novell/suse free distro: Index of /

    or go the bsd route!!!
    The FreeBSD Project
    OpenBSD
    The NetBSD Project
    DragonFlyBSD: DragonFly BSD
    GO TEAM VENTURE!!!!
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think "open source" replaced "free software" I dont think you can just download free versions of Redhat, Suse, Debian, or Ubuntu.

    Why? Because at first Venture Capitalists were turning down Larry Augustin (CEO of VA Linux Systems) because of the words "free software"

    I think the only thing that's free is just Linux, not the revised commercialized versions like Redhat, Suse, Debian or Ubuntu.

    No, "Free Software" as defined by the Free Software Foundation Free Software Licensing Resources - Free Software Foundation is not the same thing as Open Source. Why Open Source misses the point of Free Software - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    What I see as the biggest difference between the two is that FSF looks at things from a political, ethical, and moral perpective, (more concerned about why) while those who use the term "Open Source" tend to look at the issue from a more practical (more concerned about how) perspective.

    RedHat stays within the GPL by releasing its source code which is used by Fedora/CentOS. CentOS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia RedHat is Fedora/CentOS with the inclusion of some non-GPL software and RedHat branding (though Fedora is more cutting edge). Suse is the same way. Novell stays within the GPL by distributing the source code and sponsoring OpenSuse. But they also sell Enterprise Suse, which is basically OpenSuse with the inclusion of some non-GPL software. All of the Enterprise Linux systems also include support and updates. If you download the ISOs from CentOS or OpenSuse you do not get the enterprise support agreement or software updates from RedHat or Novell.

    Because they are released under the GPL they are technically Free Software as defined by the Free Software Foundation. The companies associated with the distros may prefer the term Open Source for strategic reasons, but that does not change the facts. The problem really is that Free Software is too vague of a term. Free has two distinct meanings in English that make this problematic: free - no charge of money, gratis and free as in liberated, without restriction. The FSF really intends the second meaning with the first meaning being an important byproduct. Now when you say "Free Software" to a CFO he might think, cheep or worthless. One person actually asked me, "If it's so good, why don't they sell it?" This is why so many people have gravitated to the term Open Source, IMHO.
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