I now have the 5-CD set of SUSE Linux 9.3 Professional Edition for
examination, and an reporting my findings here. If anyone wants more
details, please ask.
Disk 1 includes a number of licensing-relevant files in its root
directory. Here are the English-language ones (as they're duplicated
with German-language ones).
Predictably, COPYING is the text of GPLv2.
COPYRIGHT is, in part, Novell's brief GPL-compliance document, pointing
out that a number of packages' source code is available, and stating
where to get it. It also includes the following warning:
Not all programs on the CDs are free software. Some of them
are shareware, restricted to noncommercial use, or may have
other restrictive conditions.
The package information mentions the respective license and authors.
We cannot, however, ensure the correctness of this information. In
cases of doubt, refer to the original copyright information of the
LICENSE.TXT asserts formation of a contract betwen any recipient and
Novell, Inc., concerning "Software", which is defined as "the software
product identified in the title of this Agreement, media (if any), and
accompanying documentation". The "title" is "SUSE LINUX PROFESSIONAL
The text cited here a few days ago follows that:
You may make and use unlimited copies of the Software for
Your distribution and use within Your Organization. You
may make and distribute unlimited copies of the Software
outside Your organization provided that: 1) You receive
no consideration; and, 2) you do not bundle or combine
the Software with another offering (e.g., software, hardware,
However, the next paragraph severely limits that grant -- and I note
with some annoyance that Rory _didn't frelling bother_ to mention this:
The Software is a modular operating system. Most of the components
are open source packages, developed independently, and accompanied
by separate license terms. Your license rights with respect to
individual components accompanied by separate license terms are
defined by those terms; nothing in this Agreement (including, for
example, the "Other License Terms and Restrictions," below) shall
restrict, limit, or otherwise affect any rights or obligations You
may have, or conditions to which You may be subject, under such
The Software may be bundled with other software programs ("Bundled
Programs"). Your license rights with respect to Bundled Programs
accompanied by separate license terms are defined by those terms;
nothing in this Agreement shall restrict, limit, or otherwise affect
any rights or obligations You may have, or conditions to which You
may be subject, under such license terms.
Non-Novell Products. The Software may include or be bundled with
hardware or other software programs licensed or sold by a licensor
other than Novell.
Interestingly, even the generous-sounding Novell rights grant cited
above is non-transferrable!
Transfer. This Agreement may not be transferred or assigned without
the prior written approval of Novell.
So, you're allowed to "make and distribute unlimited copies of the
Software outside Your organization", but then those recipients don't
enjoy the same rights? Weird.
Interestingly, Novell restricts benchmarking!
Benchmark Testing. This benchmark testing restriction applies to
You if You are a software vendor or if You are performing testing on
the Software at the direction of or on behalf of a software vendor.
You may not, without Novell's prior written consent not to be
unreasonably withheld, publish or disclose to any third party the
results of any benchmark test of the Software.
Anyhow, so much for Rory and others' claim that Novell had granted
blanket permission for non-commercial copying. No, they simply didn't,
but you folks didn't bother to FRELLING WELL READ THE VERY NEXT
PARAGRAPH, to find out.
You can probably predict what's next: Disk 2 contained these:
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 5381580 Apr 26 14:55 RealPlayer-10.0.3-5.i586.rpm
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 37699961 Apr 26 14:55 acroread-7.0.0-4.i586.rpm
Disk 5 contained these:
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 6562235 Apr 26 15:03 moneyplex-5.0-193.i586.rpm
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 4825544 Apr 26 15:03 opera-7.54-19.i586.rpm
kenny:/tmp# alien --to-tgz acroread-7.0.0-4.i586.rpm
Error: header not recognized
(Much fooling around with RPM-unpacking tools later:)
I'll be darned: It seems that SUSE's RPMv3 format is now decidedly
incompatible with other people's RPM tools. Short of my compiling
SUSE's tool from tarball, my scrutiny of those packages' individual
licence statements will have to wait until after I've installed 9.3 on a
test box. But I'll give long odds that all four still not only omit the
right of redistribution, but are crystal clear about it NOT being
granted at all.
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