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Rocky Linux Shares How They May Continue To Obtain The RHEL Source Code

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  • #21
    There is no obligation to provide source code for GPL licensed software at the request of people you have not distributed the software to.
    There is no "spirit" of open source being violated here, this is working as intended. GPL was never meant to be some sort of tool to shake down developers.


    Does the GPL require that source code of modified versions be posted to the public?
    The GPL does not require you to release your modified version, or any part of it. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.

    But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.

    Thus, the GPL gives permission to release the modified program in certain ways, and not in other ways; but the decision of whether to release it is up to you.​
    "to the program's users", not to the general public.

    ________________________________________________

    And I'm not quite sure what the legal position may be on some of the ideas they've floated. Acquiring the source through someone else who has legally obtained a copy is obviously legal, it's theirs to distribute.
    But acquiring the source through means where you did not have the right to obtain a copy of the program is not legal. A program being licensed under the GPL does not inherently imply it is publicly available.
    I have no idea what RedHat's terms of service and such are(I've never used RHEL), and this all seems like a pretty big headache that's not worth the effort. At the very least they might want to consider talking to a lawyer who specializes in this area.
    Last edited by peppercats; 29 June 2023, 10:19 PM.

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    • #22
      "to the program's users", not to the general public.
      Anyone can freely download a binary copy of RHEL right here and install it. They are publicly distributing RHEL binaries.



      Therefore according to the GPL the sources should be available publicly to everyone who can download and is being distributed their binaries.

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      • #23
        They are in the right to find loopholes and use them to rebuild RHEL, but I fear that Red Hat doesn't want RHEL rebuilds anymore. They are okay with derivatives using their code on CentOS Stream, but they don't want people following their release cadence. If they can't prevent it, they will make the job increasingly more difficult.

        I would like to see Alma and Rocky following their own way and abandoning the concept of bug for bug rebuilds.
        Last edited by evasb; 29 June 2023, 11:26 PM.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by cjcox View Post

          Well, since it's Oracle, they probably believe that they created Linux and all software around it, and it's proprietary IP (they may even rename it to Java Oracle Linux).
          Yeah, they should stick with Java oracle Linux since I think SCOlinux is already taken.

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          • #25
            Not all RHEL packages are GPL licensed, RedHat could make things worse by just offering source code for GPL packages only, I mean no source code for MIT, Apache, BSD ... licensed packages.

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            • #26
              I have found a good article about the situation (11/2020) Nobody Owns Linux, But You Can Pay For It – Or Not (nextplatform.com)

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              • #27
                What if Red Hat wakes-up one day and doesn't feel like selling their services or products to the rowdy obnoxious Rocky Linux open source geek?

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Nuc!eoN View Post

                  Move on how?
                  Instead of the "bug for bug" nonsense they could put in engineering resources to fix those bugs, and make their own enterprise distro with their own identity instead of leeching off RHEL's reputation?

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Vermilion View Post

                    Instead of the "bug for bug" nonsense they could put in engineering resources to fix those bugs, and make their own enterprise distro with their own identity instead of leeching off RHEL's reputation?
                    Companies distribute binaries that are integration tested against RHEL. Sometimes there exists code that relies knowingly or unknowingly on buggy behaviour. Ever fixed a bug to find the fix triggers another bug?

                    "bug for bug" they replicate the behaviour exactly. You wouldn't fix the bug in the distro, but push it upstream.
                    Also often those bugs are just not known.
                    The "freeloading" that happens would be that integration-testing and vetting of changes done by Red Hat. But Red Hat "freeloads" by getting the changes of all the programs from the respective project owners.

                    Software inherently profits from work done already since copying and replicating is cheap. That's why open source wants to be free, so that everyone can profit of the work already done.
                    Of course this is in direct conflict to maximise profit.

                    Cooperation and competition are both valid models. Open source chooses cooperation, closed source chooses competition.

                    Cooperation favours the community, Competition favours the successful individual and is often opposite to the interests of the community.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Setif View Post
                      Not all RHEL packages are GPL licensed, RedHat could make things worse by just offering source code for GPL packages only, I mean no source code for MIT, Apache, BSD ... licensed packages.
                      That was also my first thought. You can hate GPL, but that's why it was created in the first place. The world definitely would look very different without GPL. I doubt the Linux kernel would be as successful as it is without having GPL. On the other hand, LLVM also does pretty well.

                      Also, don't give them ideas

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