Is Red Hat right?

The κατά της απόφασης της Red Hat να σταματήσει τη δωρεάν διανομή του πηγαίου κώδικα της RHEL σε μη πελάτες συνεχίζει να διευρύνεται.

Last week, we reported that Red Hat would remove the sources of its corporate distribution from the public Git servers it uses.

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Mike McGrath, who announced the change, felt compelled to post one response that defends her.

As you might expect, McGrath defends the move and rejects claims that it violates either the spirit or the terms of the open source license. The main argument is that free refactorings of RHEL add no value either to Red Hat as a company or to the open source ecosystem as a whole. They're just depriving Red Hat of the revenue it's rightfully earned by producing arguably the most stable of distributions… and it seems they're right.

An interesting development is that the developers behind Rocky Linux they mention that they have found a "path forward" to "a brave new world", and state that it "complies with licensing agreements". The announcement says that updates to both versions 8.8 and 9.2 will be released as normal.

Bradley M Kuhn of The Software Freedom Conservancy posted a detailed analysis of the GNU General Public License (GPL) issues surrounding traffic. Bradley's tone is generally highly critical, but cannot directly suggest any wrongdoing on Red Hat's part.

The key point that many of the critics have forgotten is that the GPL obliges Red Hat to only provide the source code to places where it has made binaries available and not to the rest of the world. Red Hat customers can still get the source code, so the company is not in violation of the GPL.

The GPL does not exempt customers who have contracts with Red Hat: they can redistribute the source code if they wish, but Red Hat can also terminate their contracts, and this is 100% compatible with the GPL.

But not everything is GPL. All Linux distributions include code that is governed by many different licenses, including different versions of the GPL itself.

There are too many people who think that just because it's Linux, they have some right to get it for free. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

Among the many criticisms of the move, many have pointed out that Red Hat is benefiting, indirectly but significantly, from the large pool of expertise generated by people using the free rebuilds.

That's absolutely true, but it's also true that the company has two other operating systems completely free: Fedora and CentOS Stream.

It also offers freely distributable Universal Base Images, which can allow you to run RHEL-specific applications on other distributions – as long as the applications' license and support agreements allow, of course.

What's next

We suspect that IBM-owned Red Hat is not going to budge on this, and if refactorings find ways around these restrictions, the company will simply impose new restrictions.

Any business has a legal right to defend its model and products. Putting aside the large number of angry people who don't really understand how open source licenses work, our impression is that the main issue here is that there are too many people who think that just because this is Linux, they have some sort of right to own it free of charge.

Δυστυχώς, δεν είναι έτσι. Δεν σημαίνει αυτό το “ελεύθερο” στο Ελεύθερο Λογισμικό, και δεν ήταν ποτέ έτσι. Η Red Hat καταβάλλει τεράστια προσπάθεια και χρήματα για την ανάπτυξη του Ελεύθερου Λογισμικού, για να διασφαλίσει ότι ο κώδικάς της θα επιτρέπει την παρ ασφαλών, και μακροπρόθεσμων σταθερών υποστηριζόμενων εκδόσεων του εγγενώς ταχέως μεταβαλλόμενου λογισμικού FOSS, που απευθύνονται κυρίως σε μεγάλες επιχειρήσεις.

And perhaps the clearest sign that it doesn't really care about dealing with small customers is that it continues to make the product free for those who only want up to 16 servers.

After over a decade of trying, Red Hat may have finally found a way to shut down the RHEL aftermarket.

Ποτέ δεν είχε καμία υποχρέωση να παρέχει έτοιμο πηγαίο κώδικα σε μορφή που διευκολύνει τους ανταγωνιστές της να δημιουργήσουν πανομοιότυπα . Αυτό δεν υποστηρίζεται από την GPL – ή οποιαδήποτε άλλη άδεια FOSS. The Best Technology Site in Greecefgns

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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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