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Re: FSF : lackeys of their corporate masters

From: Michael Elizabeth Chastain
Subject: Re: FSF : lackeys of their corporate masters
Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 20:35:26 -0400
User-agent: nail 10.5 4/27/03

I hate to spend much energy on this discussion, but CheapBytes does not
quite sell exact reproductions of Red Hat Linux.  According to, they sell "Pink Tie Linux".  And the reason that
they sell "Pink Tie Linux" instead of "Red Hat Linux" is that Red Hat
threatened to sue them.  And the leverage that Red Hat uses is that some
elements of Red Hat Linux, such as the name "Red Hat" and some of the
artwork, are *not* licensed under the GPL.

(cheapbytes also sells copies of Red Hat (tm) Professional Workstation
for $94.50, but I expect they are actually buying those from Red Hat,
not cloning them).

I agree with Stefaan.  I think that morally, the author of a work of
software has the right to choose their own license; and that
economically, the original creator of a work bears expenses that they
have to recover from the sale of copies -- and any cloners are getting a
free ride on those expenses.  I think it should be the original author's
choice whether to allow that free ride or not.

I also note that it's FSF policy to use to the GPL to restrict the ways
in which other people can copy the FSF's copyrighted works.  The FSF
could use less restrictive licenses such as BSD or even place their work
into the public domain, but the FSF chooses not to do that.  The FSF's
rationale for having a license at all (as opposed to public domain) is
that the use of the GPL will encourage the production of more software
by people who like to see a world of Free Software.  I think this is
entirely parallel to the choice of proprietary licenses by people who
think that their proprietary license will encourage payment of $$$ to
recoup their development expenses and earn a profit.

Michael C

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