Quoting Niall Walsh (linux at esatclear.ie):
> First what editions and versions are you talking about? Is there an
> official statement on this?
The record is full of well-intentioned, benevolent statements from
Novell/SUSE people (not just Darragh, but also others whose generosity
like Darragh's does them great credit), which -- sadly but inevitably --
turn out to simply not be relevant to the question.
That is, Novell cannot speak for the copyright holders of proprietary
software they redistribute. In theory, they could produce special
permission statements from those holders, granting public rights not
otherwise apparent, but never have done so in past rounds of this
discussion (here or elsewhere).
It's obvious why people want to seek "official statements" from Novell:
It's a whole lot _easier_ than poring through several thousand packages
(per SUSE release and SUSE edition) to determine whether the public has
been granted sufficient permission to redistribute them. But such
statements would (in themselves) be useless -- that is, if they said
nothing more useful than "Novell have no problem with your doing [foo]".
We _know_ Novell don't mind. They're good guys, and we like them.
That's unfortunately just not the question.
> The bottom line (afaiu) is that to distribute non-Suse written pieces
> of software (i.e. most of it) you need the permission of the copyright
Quibble: To redistribute _Novell/SUSE-written_ software, you _likewise_
need such permission. The firm grants that through standardised
open-source licences covering its included codebases. (One of the
less-appreciated aspects of such licences is their standardised nature:
You don't need to pore through licence terms to know what rights you've
> Rick helps to clarify the confusion a bit below:
The first link is to an excruciatingly detailed analysis of selected
packages in SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional Edition. You may recall I
followed that up in April with an even more painful run-through of
selected packages' licensing in SUSE Linux 9.3 Professional Edition. I
also reposted it in digest form here:
Anyhow: My compliments to Novell for grappling with this issue in the
new OpenSUSE initiative.
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