Mandrake and the commercial license

Rui Miguel Seabra rms at
Tue Dec 17 18:43:50 UTC 2002

On Tue, 2002-12-17 at 15:15, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 17, 2002 at 02:01:03PM +0000, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> > Software released under the GNU GPL already allows you to build and
> > redistribute a derivative product with a well known commercial license:
> >               the GNU GPL
> Yes, can you send them a polite email pointing this out?


I sent them the following message. I hope that was polite :)


I am a Systems Administrator of a banking entity in Portugal, so
I felt somewhat curious about MandrakeSecurity Multi Network Firewall,
specially since it came from an european company that distributes

I learned about MNF through the news on its terms of use
( As I read them,
I saw an unfourtunatly misleading phrase:
 <<The Commercial License Agreement provides (...) the possibility to
build and redistribute a derivative product with commercial licensing.>>

Reading further, I reached the conclusion that that must've been an
unfourtunately common confusion between proprietary and commercial.

After all, Mandrake is a commercial distribution of GNU/Linux, as well
SuSE and RedHat to name two more, and I can build and redistribute
products based on them, commercially.

Software released under the GNU GPL allows you to build and redistribute
derivatives commercially!

Commercial software that is Free Software (Logiciel Libres) is a very
important contribution that should be encouraged to exist. It helps
paying for the development of more Free Software, for instance.

Therefore, please don't use the world commercial when you mean
software, since that perpetuates the incorrect idea that Free Software
is not commercial.

I hope that you will forgive me for writing such a long message, and
that you may correct that information as soons as it is possible

Best regards,


+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?
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