RedHat and software patents

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at
Tue May 28 13:09:58 UTC 2002

On Tue, 2002-05-28 at 14:29, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> Let us call it this way:
> They are definitely _not_ _going_ the Open Source / Free Software way:
> -	They are Open Source -> Yes
> -	The software they create  benefits from OSS/FS development
> 	paradigms -> NO

I disagree with you sorry, but I think it is the other way.

Open Source Movement has put all the emphasis into promoting the
collaborative superior force and all other merely technical merits of
the so called Open Source, when RedHat do not accept changes in their
own tree they simply choose not to exploit one of the supposed
advantages of Open Source however they still fulfill both OS definition
and FS definition.

Do the software they create benefits from OSS development paradigm?
maybe be not, but I do not care about OSS, we do not speak of OSS on
this list.

> The main improvements with OSS/FS is (intended to be) the fact that 
> other OSS/FS development efforts can/will be used to enhance
> a specific program. 

The main OSS goal maybe effort sharing, but the main goal of FS is not a
technical one, the main goal of FS is _user_ freedom!
This is the root of the difference between the two movement and the
reason why they are different even if they share many things.

> If RH insists in not integrating other OSS/FS parts, they are definitely
> not a OSS/FS company but only just another company that makes 
> Source available.

No they are an FS company that take in high account both technical and
legal maintainability of their own software in my opinion.

You are still free to distribute a package with your own modification
without any problem. They do not only offer the source code, but also
offer you the freedom to do what you want with it.
Who are you to dictate the terms a company or an individual must accept

That said, I would prefer any company to adopt a policy to accept good
patches without requiring copyright assignment but that's their own
choice, I would not like to see anyone dictate it.


Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at
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via Durando 10 Ed. G - 20158 - Milano
tel. +39 02 2399 7130 - fax: +39 02 700 442 399
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