press release critique

Frank Heckenbach frank at
Sat May 5 02:32:10 UTC 2001

Josef Dalcolmo wrote:

> enlar at said:
> >     I *can* get Suse 6.4, that is sold for about 40 euros, and copy it
> > any  times I wish to anyone. It's the same for any other free
> > software. No  problem with being rich or not here. 
> Actually, SuSE's YAST is proprietary, which means you would have to distribute 
> it without YAST, but then it isn't SuSE anymore, is it?

Actually I think it's at least semi-free. The license of 5.2 (the
latest one I have handy to check) says:

:    [...] YaST and S.u.S.E. Linux may be used for personal and
:    commercial purposes [...]
:    [ Modifications may be made and must be marked in sources and
:      binaries. ] [...]
:    b) The Licensee is obliged to make all work distributed by him which
:       is derived as a whole or in part from YaST or parts of YaST to
:       third parties as a whole under the terms of this licence without
:       royalties. [...]
: 3. Dissemination
:    It is forbidden to reproduce or distribute data carriers which have
:    been reproduced without authorisation for payment without the prior
:    written consent of S.u.S.E. GmbH or S.u.S.E. Linux. [...]
:    Making YaST or works derived thereof available free of charge
:    together with S.u.S.E. Linux on FTP Servers and mailboxes is
:    permitted if the licences on the software are observed. [...]

ISTM, except for details, the main difference to the GPL is that you
can't distribute it for money. (So it's not free according to the
FSF's (or mine) definition, but it's like some of you wanted it to
be ...)

So you can in fact copy SuSE any times you want, provided you don't
charge for it (which, of course, you wouldn't even want to do if you
wanted to give it to poor people :-).


Frank Heckenbach, frank at
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