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Re: YaST licence

On Tue, Dec 04, 2001 at 10:03:13PM +0100, Kurt Garloff wrote:

> > > OTOH, they are doing a good job of spreading GNU/Linux to more
> > > people

> > Yes, but the manner they are doing it is corrupting the very soul of
> > the GNU. They send the message "after all, key components of the OS
> > are still non-free, and this is OK".

> As I happen to work (part time) for SuSE, my time has come to give a
> comment.

> I sometimes wonder why people are so focused on GPL, when it comes
> to the definition of "free".

The YaST license is not the only issue.

SuSE adds non-free software to the distribution, without expressing
regret for doing so ("We include Netscape, but that's the only decent
graphical browser at the moment, as soon as mozilla is ready, netscape
does down the drain" for example), even more, they tout it and (on the
packaging at least), and call this "value added", in some way saying
that SuSE is _better_ because it contains non-free software such as
Applixware demo, a licensed copy of OSS (sound system), that-and-than
from IBM, etc.

Non-free software that is not clearly "commercial, closed source" is
not separated from non-free software by a clear label (in a different
SuSE serie's for example).

There is absolutely no way to know the license of a package before
installing it! The "license" field of RPM is used to hold the
copyright notice.

SuSE adds software that has limitations on its redistribution (YaST)
in the default install.

SuSE is a reseller of non-free software: VMWare, probably (didn't
specifically check) t@x2002, and (probably) makes 'special bundles' of
its distribution with non-free software (t@x2002).

Etc, etc.

> I'd like to add that YaST adds a commodity to install and administrate Linux.
> So much that a lot of newcomers like it.
> But fortunately, you're not locked into it. 

Yes, but that's still a two-tier system "The backend is free, the
frontend is not completely". That is not a good thing. Saying to
newcomers "trading freedom for convenience and commodity is OK" is
definitely not the message I (and the GNU project) want them to
get. It's not the GNU spirit.

> PS: If you're interested in YaST license details, I can provide you
> with plenty of information ...

What additional info is there to the actual license?

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