Subject: Re: up2date
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 28 Oct 2002 09:43:01 -0800

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <> writes:

> >>>>> "Ralph" == Ralph Corderoy <> writes:
>     Ralph> So them withdrawing one means of distribution but leaving
>     Ralph> others doesn't suggest a GPL violation to me.
> Per se, no, see clause 3(b).  But as a threat intended to inhibit
> redistribution, it's a violation of clause 6.  Tom's right, I think.
> But I suspect that Ian misspoke himself in the first place, since the
> restriction against redistributing _RPMs_ is so gratuitous given the
> FTP availability.  Furthermore, the contract/statement Ian quoted
> didn't mention the RPMs.
> What it said is that you may not copy or redistribute your _RHN
> credentials_ (not even to yourself!)  That is both legal under the GPL
> and good business sense.

I agree that there can't be any restriction on redistributing RPMs.
But the Terms and Conditions don't really say what you suggest,
either.  I guess they are ambiguous.

The Terms and Conditions state ``The Service may be used only for the
benefit of the Customer and only for the systems with subscriptions.''

My reading is that this means you aren't permitted to keep multiple
systems up to date using a single RHN subscription.  This doesn't mean
that you can't redistribute the RPMs, but it does mean that, if you
do, Red Hat can cut you off from the RHN service.  After all,
redistributing the RPMs means that you are using the service ``for the
benefit of'' other people.

Your reading is apparently that you can do whatever you like with the
RPMs, but that only one system can use a particular set of RHN

I don't know which reading is intended.  I guess I still think mine is
more natural.

Incidentally, I don't see my reading as a violation of GPL clause 6.
Withdrawal of RHN service does not seem to me to be a restriction on
the exercise of GPL rights.