Software - [was Re: Fedora - DELL ?]

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Les Mikesell wrote:
> Andy Green wrote:
>> While it is protected by law (and all the penalties the state can
>> apply) then the patented content in proprietary codecs give
>> proprietary software a reason to go on.  You are ragging on the wrong
>> people if you think that is Linux or Fedora's fault.  The problem is
>> patent law.
> I'm confused about what 'problem' you mean.  I'll agree that patent law
> is flawed in a lot of ways.  I don't agree that it should be impossible
> to control distribution of your own work in ways that don't interfere
> with other's rights to do the same.  The problem I see is that even if
> you are willing to meet the licensing terms of all the components you
> want to have, no one is allowed to combine them for you if any part is
> covered by the GPL and any other part has different restrictions.
There is nothing in the GPL that prevents a user from combining
proprietary programs with GPL programs on their own system. You can
also distribute programs that link to LGPL libraries that are
already installed on the system. It gets a bit more complicated when
you want to link to GPL libraries, but it can still be done. I am
not sure how a proprietary codex for use by a GPLed program would
work - I have never read anything about that. But I suspect that a
codex that would work with both GPL and proprietary programs without
modification would be allowed.

If anything, an argument could be made that too many programs are
included in the distributions now. With any other OS, you end up
having to get other software to do more then the basics. Why should
a distribution have to supply most (all) of the programs you are
going to want to use?

I also remember when I was buying RedHat boxed sets, that they had a
separate CD that had commercial software on it. You could freely
distribute the rest of the CDs, but not that one. I never hear of
any problems with doing that. I am not sure how it would work with
software pre-installed on a computer - I leave that to the lawyers.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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