Change for Caldera OpenLinux Workstation

Stefan Meretz stefan.meretz at
Thu Jun 28 07:32:14 UTC 2001

Werner Koch wrote:
>  ld> Caldera has changed the license on its OpenLinux Workstation product
>  ld> for the newest version (3.1) to require one license per system the
>  ld> distribution is installed on. The company will provide a certificate
> I don't see a difference between SuSE and Caldera.  Both are selling
> freedom subtracted GNU/Linux systems.  SuSE just allows for verbatim
> copies if you don't take money for it; this is freeware and not Free
> Software.  So Caldera now switched to take money - Microsoft could do
> the same with their Internet Exploder at any time.

This is a too simple answer! Suse and Caldera use the same logic (add
prop software to free software), but the results are different: I can
copy Suse-Systems as often as I want and put it on many computers, and
this is covered by the Suse prop license for Yast. I can not use Caldera
in the same way, I have to _buy_ a license for every system on which I
want to install Caldera. I don't want to defend Suse, but this is an
essential difference in practice. And the normal end user is not able to
distinguish, in his/her view Caldera must be the same shit stuff as M$.

>  ld> What kind of coordinated action can be done ?
> I don't think that there is any action required.  Well, Caldera gives
> a premium example why not to use "proprietarized" versions of
> GNU/Linux ;-)

In my view, Caldera gives us a good example, why the
"make-money-with-free-software"-dogma again and again will lead to such
"combinations" of freedom and artificial scarcity, in order to make that
money the free-software guys promise. I don't want to discuss this
again, so just ignore me, but IMHO it is a dangerous trap.

What will happen, if Suse switches to the Caldera model? They will if
Caldera succeeds.


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