Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Antonio Olivares olivares14031 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 19 23:55:53 UTC 2008

> There are always doubts about the terms and validity of
> licenses until
> courts speak on the matter. That may be fortunate or
> unfortunate
> depending on your point of view.
Which courts do you mean?
International courts or U.S. based courts?
If you are considering the U.S. based courts, I have very little to no faith in them and I cannot trust them enough :(
> I don't like the terms of just about every license I
> for one reason or
> another accept. But the fact remains that the copyright
> holder gets to
> make the choice of terms, I get to accept or decline them.
If you get a distribution whichever linux you get, you accept everything about them.  If you have installed it, then how can you say that you did not accept a license agreement?

In the first place, Other software companies have products and those products have a EULA(End User License Agreement), in our cases we use Fedora, and it clearly states in first boot that the software is provided as is without any implied warranties, either stated or implied and we click next and be happy :)  However, there are other licenses bundled in the distribution that are ok and others that are not ok?  This is why many people ask, why is this license ok, and this one is not.  When you see time and time again that other people/distributions include the same programs which licenses are not widely accepted by the FSF.  
> Would the world be a better place with no GPL and all
> software created
> by those who now create code under the GPL putting it into
> the public
> domain instead? 
This is a question that is hard to answer.  Like I have said before, I like the good parts of the GPL and not like the bad parts.  Like I can say I like the Old Testament, where God used to quickly punish those where bad and get rid of them right away, I do not like the New Testament because it gives people too many rights and you can do harm to others and you slap me and I put my other cheek.  This is what I am trying to say. 
> Would users of software have the freedom to
> learn,
> tinker, fix, and improve the amount of software they now
> can in that
> world?
They do because everyone has a right to the code, just that if you modify the code and improve it, you have to give back and cannot get away with redistributing improved code without sharing it back to the community.  There is no such thing as a free lunch!
> The GPL is a choice made by creators. They can and do make
> lots of
> other choices. Some make choices that foster a free
> software
> community, some don't. I think accepting that good and
> sincere people
> will make the choice of copyleft licenses because they
> believe that
> ultimately serves the free software community better than
> other
> alternatives will help foster the dialog. If the goal is to
> get them
> to allow their code to be assimilated into proprietary code
> then there
> probably isn't much point to the dialog.
I undertand the point that you are making, but many authors want to make money (yes they can make money with the GPL), but the GPL restricts them in a way that many prefer other licenses which are more flexible in that regard.  They also do not complain about sharing their code and do not ask anything in return.  

For instance, 
Lets say you are on the side of the road with a flat tire.  I stop and help you.  I change the tire for you and put the flat tire in the trunk.  I tell you to give me your address and telephone number.  This way when I get thrown in jail, I can call you so that you can come and bail me out.  I can ask you for $5 as well. This would be a GPL way of dealing with this.

If I change the tire for you and do everything and smile and tell you to have a wonderful day and not ask anything in return.  That you can go on with your life and never have to thank me for everything that would a different license other than GPL.  
> John
> -- 

I am not against the GPL.  I am just questioning why it prohibits some things that others do not and thus force authors of good software to change licenses to protect their interests.  I like the good parts of the GPL just like the Bible.  I should be allowed to pick the chapters that I like and refuse to read or cooperate with the ones that I don't.




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