Change for Caldera OpenLinux Workstation

Lisa M. Opus Goldstein opus at
Wed Jun 27 19:32:59 UTC 2001

I missed the beginning of this thread, but it seems to me they are
violating the GPL on a massive scale.  Can't we pursue legal action?


Georg C. F. Greve <greve at> wrote:
> Hi all,
>  || On Wed, 27 Jun 2001 18:43:17 +0200
>  || Loic Dachary <loic at> wrote: 
>  ld> Caldera has changed the license on its OpenLinux Workstation
>  ld> product for the newest version (3.1) to require one license per
>  ld> system the distribution is installed on. The company will provide
>  ld> a certificate
>  || On 27 Jun 2001 19:04:07 +0200
>  || Werner Koch <wk at> wrote: 
>  wk> I don't see a difference between SuSE and Caldera.  Both are
>  wk> selling freedom subtracted GNU/Linux systems.  SuSE just allows
>  wk> for verbatim copies if you don't take money for it; this is
>  wk> freeware and not Free Software.  So Caldera now switched to take
>  wk> money - Microsoft could do the same with their Internet Exploder
>  wk> at any time.
> Yes, this is essentially correct. 
> But other than the SuSE thing this has raised a lot of publicity
> already and will potentially raise even more. We should use this
> opportunity to explain to the public that this is a bad thing. 
> If things go well we may even point out that SuSE is doing something
> very similar once the public wrath is coming down on Caldera (as I
> think it should).
>  ld> What kind of coordinated action can be done ? 
> I believe we should encourage people to buy different GNU/Linux
> distributions and raise our voices. Also we should encourage others to
> raise their voices.
> Below you'll find my reply to some questions Pia Heikkila had for
> in case you're interested.
> Regards,
>                 Georg

> To: Pia Heikkila <PHeikkila at>
> Cc: "'president at'" <president at>,
> 	  "'press at'" <press at>,
> 	  "'office at'" <office at>
> Subject: Re: Urgent Press Query
> From: "Georg C. F. Greve" <greve at>
> Date: 27 Jun 2001 19:35:51 +0200

> Hi Pia,
>  || On Wed, 27 Jun 2001 17:21:17 +0100
>  || Pia Heikkila <PHeikkila at> wrote: 
>  ph> I am a technology journalist and interested in talking to one of
>  ph> you about software licenses. 
> We'll be glad to help you any way we can.
>  ph> Here are my questions:
>  ph> Caldera recently announced it will be charging per seat for their
>  ph> product.  It might not breach the GPL but how will the community
>  ph> react?  
> It is usually hard to guess how the community reacts although I
> certainly hope they will be upset and let Caldera know this. If
> Caldera keeps it up, I certainly believe they should prefer products
> of other companies that do not act against the spirit of our
> community.
> Although Caldera claims not to be parasitic but simply economic, this
> step shows that they have clearly not yet understood the Free Software
> movement and philosophy. 
> Many people may misunderstand the last paragraph, so let me make clear
> that we are not against commercial use of Free Software. The GPL has
> deliberately been written in a way that Free Software can even be
> sold.
> But taking away the users' freedoms, as Caldera is doing it in this
> case, is a step back in digital evolution by about 10 years. 
> I'm not saying Caldera is necessarily mean-spirited or evil, they may
> just be ill-informed. If Caldera is interested to learn how they can
> harmonize their business model with Free Software, we will gladly help
> them to do so just as we'd help everyone else along this road.
> But we should not forget that regardless of the motivation this is a
> very bad development and motivation really doesn't change the result.
> The result in this case is that Caldera is violating the spirit of the
> community and hurts the giants it is standing on by claiming it was
> one of them. This should not be tolerated.
>  ph> What about other Open Source software providers? 
> I am aware that you are using "Open Source" as a synonym for Free
> Software here, I would still like to ask you to prefer the term Free
> Software. 
> Experience shows that the term Open Source is not only more misleading
> than Free Software, it is also based on a definition with holes and
> weaknesses. 
> A movement can only be as strong as the definition it is based on, so
> we reommend using the term Free Software or the equivalent term in the
> local languages.
> To come back to your question: I know several companies that have
> understood Free Software, so I'm quite certain they would not do such
> a thing.
> As for the ones not yet understanding the Free Software philosophy and
> business models, who may be tempted to do try similar; I ask them to
> get in touch with us first, so we get the chance to offer alternatives
> to them and explain how money can be made without breaking the circle
> of cooperation.
>  ph> Do you they will go down the same route too? 
> Was this intended to contain "think" or "fear?" :)
>  ph> Is Caldera's only objective to make money just like everyone else
>  ph> or championing the case for free software by proving the business
>  ph> case?
> Caldera is certainly not "championing the case for free software" as
> you put it, since they make their money from proprietarizing their
> product. They have made the step back to being a proprietary software
> company just like Microsoft. 
> The fact that they have some lines of Free Software in there doesn't
> make them a Free Software company. Otherwise we'd have to say that
> Microsoft was "championing the case for free software" because they
> are using many lines of FreeBSD code and even ship GPL'ed software to
> make the transition to Windows easier for some people.
> Caldera may be having a few more lines of Free Software in it's
> product than Microsoft, but that's really the only difference.
>  ph> I would really appreciate your answers. I know I might not get
>  ph> this to you on time as my deadline is tomorrow.
> I gave it a high priority and replied right away. Hope it helps. If
> you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
>  ph> But in the future, could you email me with any announcements you
>  ph> may have regarding your organization.
> We do have two mailing lists you may want to subscribe to. One is the
> "announcement" list and the other one is for press releases. You'll
> find both on
> Regards,
> Georg Greve
> FSF Europe, President
> -- 
> Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
> Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
> GNU Business Network                        (
> Brave GNU World	                           (

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