Subject: Re: OSI enforcement?
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 19:56:31 -0800

Quoting Raj Mathur (

> Er, excuse me, but where in the GPL (or any of the other OSI-approved 
> licences) does it state ``you must give your software away for free to 
> whoever asks for it''? 

This would be a reasonable question to ask me, if I had actually
maintained, at any point, that GNU GPL (any version) asserts that one
must give away one's software for free whoever asks for it.

Raj, I know you to be a thoughtful person, but evidently you need to
read some of the surrounding context of this discussion before charging
in.  In point of fact, _nobody_ had made that allegation, but Donovan
had alleged that (paraphrasing) that it's always possible to acquire
copylefted software for free.

I'm going to be kind enough to disregard most of the rest of your post,
because it rested on incorrect assumptions about what I had said, and my
savaging your prose for that error would be messy and somewhat
unpleasant.  (Clue:  I reflected a correct understanding of copyleft
forcing clauses in my preceding posts, and you somehow missed that.)

> > My point is that "copylefted commercial software is something only
> > stupid people pay for, unless they're paying for bundled services"
> > (paraphrased) is factually inaccurate.
> Not necessarily.  Red Hat can prevent you from redistributing its  
> distribution (say RHEL 5) because they have embedded trademarked 
> content into it.

I'm extremely well aware of the trademark-based encumbrances within a
minority of RHEL binary RPMs -- and maintain some of the primary
documentation on the Internet concerning that very point -- but
deliberately limited discussion to the gcc binary RPM within RHEL5
Update 1 Server Edition specifically to avoid that digression.