Quoting Niall O Broin (niall at linux.ie):
> Jeez, I hate to say it, but Rick's right here.
Even a stopped clock is correct twice daily. ;->
> Ah but he was given the nod at a reseller conference.
As we say in San Francisco, that and a buck will get you a ride on Muni.
> Actually this wouldn't be surprising because
>> Star Office 5.2 was available free (as in beer). SuSE may well have been
> given a license from Sun to distribute - no cost to Sun.
I'm sure SuSE did indeed negotiate a licence to distribute SO 5.2. But,
as you know, the question is whether people purchasing the SuSE boxed
sets containing it have the right to _redistribute_ SO 5.2.
During the time that SO 5.2 was available for download, I checked
carefully. Both the download and CD-ROM copies specify that Sun grants
you a non-transferrable licence and specifically have "no right to
distribute the software". I have a copy of the licence text here:
It's conceivable that Sun issued SuSE a different copy that included
permission for any lawful recipient to redistribute at will, but I
greatly doubt it.
> VMware as distributed with SuSE 7.3, and I presume SuSE 8.0, is a "special
> deal" whereby you can go to a "special SuSE customer URL" and obtain a
> license good for a 30 day evaluation. The fact that the world and its cat
> can download VMware from their web site and get a 30 day evaluation license
> is neither here nor there.
And, I'm sure you realise this, but just for the benefit of others who
may not get the point, the fact that you can freely get a copy from
authorised locations does _not_ automatically grant you the right to
subsequently redistribute. That right is reserved to the copyright
holder by default, by operation of copyright law, unless explicitly granted.
> Opera 6.0 as on the SuSE 8 CD is the advertising supported version which is
> again free (as in beer) to download to all and sundry.
Same thing. Non-transferrable licence, legally downloadable downloadable
from authorised location, no right granted to redistribute.
> Kylix Open Edition is the version of Kylix which is free (as in beer) and
> which may only be used to create free (as in speech) software.
> I know nothing about Moneydance but AFAIK IBM's JDK is also available on
> some kind of free (as in beer) terms and I'd be astonished if this wasn't
> the version on the CD.
Both are downloadable from the authorised sites, and grant no right to
redistribute. Again, their owners _could_ have given SuSE different
copies that include redistribution rights for all lawful recipients, but
that seems doubtful on its face.
>> 2. However, more to the immediate point, SuSE Linux AG's "position"
>> would not be particularly relevant for software that is _not theirs_.
>> No, but as all of this proprietary software is provided in a way which may
> make its owners money, I don't imagine they'd care much how SuSE
> redistributes it.
Quite possible. I'm just saying that nobody's shown any grant of
permission to redistribute, and that the otherwise available copies of
that software elsewhere pointedly lacks that permission.
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