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Is Fedora *really* Free?



Does anyone here remember when the front page of fedora.redhat.com
used to read:

"The Fedora Project is a Red-Hat-sponsored and community-supported
open source project. It is also a proving ground for new technology
that may eventually make its way into Red Hat products. It is not a
supported product of Red Hat, Inc."

Now the reason I ask, is that I've just finished reading this article
at lwn.net (prompted by another thread):

http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/203694/dab52f06fe38ff16/

The gist of the above article is that certain people at Fedora, (Red
Hat?), seem to think that including SpyWare with a community distro is
not only a good idea, but actually necessary to ensure the
continuation of this FOSS distribution.

It isn't so much the idea that the project leaders don't care about
"alienating" its users, but more the implication that the degree of
autonomy that the Fedora project has is little more than an illusion.

The implication (from the article) is that unless the Fedora project
can start providing metrics to Red Hat, then the project is in danger
of losing funding, and hence be discontinued.

Is *this* what a "Community Distro" is all about?

As a previous package maintainer, I have put considerable effort into
this distro, and to have it threatened in this way by a supposedly
impartial "parent", leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I find it particularly ironic, that a distro which strives so
obsessively to purge itself of anything even potentially encumbered,
should be itself so heavily financially encumbered by a commercial
entity.

If Fedora is truly *Free*, then maybe it's about time that it proved
it; by adopting a Debianesque "Software in the Public Interest"
approach to financing, rather than be dictated to by what amounts to
a corporate investor.

So the question remains, and it's a serious one, from a serious and
committed Fedora user and developer; is the Fedora Project really
Free?

--
K.
http://slated.org - Slated, Rated & Blogged

.----
| Gates' Law: Every 18 months, the speed of software halves.
`----

Fedora Core release 5 (Bordeaux) on sky, running kernel 2.6.16-1.2133_FC5
 07:29:06 up 119 days,  7:45,  3 users,  load average: 3.62, 2.78, 2.49

--
K.
http://slated.org - Slated, Rated & Blogged

.----
| Gates' Law: Every 18 months, the speed of software halves.
`----

Fedora Core release 5 (Bordeaux) on sky, running kernel 2.6.16-1.2133_FC5
 08:22:12 up 119 days,  8:39,  3 users,  load average: 2.04, 2.19, 2.25


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