Subject: Re: [ppc-mobo] GPL-like Hardware Solution: Remeber the CAD file
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 19:08:42 -0400

> > Last, there is the Gerber photoplot file, which gets sent to the
> > fabrication house.  This is not really a human editable file.  It is
> > end a GCC binary, usable to make non-free stuff (the
> > hardware).  An OEM assembly needs not be "Open Source", just like a
> > GNU/Linux distribution needs not be "Open Source".
> Perhaps I misunderstand the whole Linux open source thing. I can make
> changes to Linux and distribute it in binary form and NOT make the
> to the source public? Just how is it that a GNU/Linux distribution needs
> be "Open Source"?
Very simply.  The Linux kernel is GPLed.  You are restricted with what you
can do there.  But a distribution is a compilation of various tools, libraries,
utilities, documentation, and the like.  The various components each have
a licence.  The distribution as a whole can do anything that it wants to as
long as the licence on no piece is violated.

In fact not all tools need be open-source.  For instance Caldera has been
known to include goodies from Novell (the two have a tight relationship)
which are definitely *NOT* open source or anything like it.  And Suse wants
people to use their proprietary Yast...