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FYI: UnitedLinux "certified binaries" will not to be freely available

Derek wrote:
>At some point hitherto, Bill Bogstad hath spake thusly:
>> Certainly they can restrict copying on bits that they wrote
>> themselves.  If he's talking about individual GPLed packages though,
>> I think there may be a legal problem here.  The issue is whether the
>> following clause from the GPL applies to binaries based on GPLed
>> sources.
>No, the issue is, IMO, whether people actually pay attention to
>(or perhaps understand) exactly what Ransom said.  I really don't
>think people have.  Based on everything I've seen Ransom say, I have
>no reason to believe they intend to violate the GPL in any way.

No the issue is whether people (in this case you and I) understand
English the same way...

>> Ransom:
>> The binaries that are certified by the major ISVs and OEMs will not be
>> made freely available for distribution by anyone.
>Please note the precise language of this, and what it does and does
>not say.  Note that there is no mention of "redistribution" anywhere
>in it.  It says that the binaries provided by partners will not be
>freely distributed.   As in, not by the vendors.  Under the GPL, a
>vendor has *every right* not to freely distribute binaries of their
>programs.  I have heard rms himself clarify this point in no uncertain
>terms.  More than once.  

One of my messages EXPLICITLY says they don't have to distribute binaries

>... I agree that Caldera
>doesn't have to make their binaries available for ftp (or even source
>for that matter as long as they include the source with the binaries)...

The problem is that you and I disagree about the interpretation of the
following sentence:

>> The binaries that are certified by the major ISVs and OEMs will not be
>> made freely available for distribution by anyone.

I interpret 'anyone' to mean 'any entity in the entire world' with the
implication that anyone who does so is going to run afoul of their
laywers.  Change 'anyone' to 'us' (UnitedLinux members) in the above
sentence and I have no problem with it at all.  You state later that
somewhere else he says that distributing binaries is okay, but you
can't call it UnitedLinux (based on trademark issues).  If you can
provide the reference to that, my issues probably go away (except for
his lack of precise language in this case).  From what I can tell of
his bio on the Caldera web site, he's never been a programmer so I
suppose I'm expecting too much.

It's unfortunate though, since even if 'techies' may not always have a
significant influence on whether or not to use Linux; they will
probably be consulted on which distribution to choose.  Alienating
some of the people who will influence this decision making process by
sloppy wording is just dumb.

				Bill Bogstad
				bogstad at

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