RedHat and software patents

Werner Koch wk at
Tue May 28 13:20:58 UTC 2002

On Tue, 28 May 2002 14:29:43 +0200 (CEST), Joerg Schilling said:

> -	They are Open Source -> Yes

A lot of companies claim to be Open Source; the question is whether
they are a Free Software company.  Although they develop FS I don't
think that they are.  However, they contribute a lot of work to Free
Software and the GNU project in particular.

> -	The software they create  benefits from OSS/FS development
> 	paradigms -> NO

I don't know this paradigma.  I am pretty sure that I don't need to
reiterate on this list what makes up free software.  The development
model is definitive not a criterium for that.

> 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.

It is an undeniable fact that Cygnus used to be the first FS company
but they did not participate in the "Bazaar" model.  A FS developer is
free to decide what other code he is willing to integrate in the
software he distributes.  There are a lot of reasons not to include
random code by contributors.  The most important one is to keep the
license legally enforceable.  This requires legal paper exchange with
the contributor and possible with his employer.  When this is not
possible it is often easier to have the emploees write it from

I don't like this situation but this is what the current copyright
legislation requires us to do.



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