Re: Obsolesence of Intellectual Property

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Aug 03 2000 - 15:09:11 MDT

Robert Sweeney wrote:
> "Michael S. Lorrey" wrote:
> > Robert Sweeney wrote:
> > > Michael S. Lorrey wrote on Wed, 02 Aug 2000 10:03:13 -0400:
> > > > [...]
> > > > Except that linux is NOT free. It typically is sold on CD-ROM for
> > > > $40-80, which is little different from other operating systems. Can I
> > > > reproduce a Redhat CD-ROM and sell them for a buck if I want to? No, I
> > > > can't.
> > > Actually, I think you can. Check , which sells lots
> > > of Linux and related stuff roughly at the costs of reproduction (even
> > > "Linux By The Pound"). They have a whole "Red Hat" corner. The $40-80 that
> > > "Official" Red Hat costs is largely for the support RH supposedly
> > > offers.
> > So the 'Official' Red Hat CANNOT be reproduced, and I cannot sell or give away
> > the work of Red Hat (whether its their programming work or their Customer
> > Support work is really irrelevant, and a pointless distinction) without
> > compensating them to the degree they desire.
> Irrelevant and pointless to you maybe, not to Linux hackers who don't want to
> spend time downloading but also don't need handholding and don't want to pay for
> it. For them, all they need is the CD.

I happen to use SuSE on two machines, and have not used support (its not like
their support is any good for me, considering they rarely supply english manuals
on their distros). Neither I, nor You, are 'everyone'. Microsoft gives away its
Internet Explorer as well, but they only give support to those that pay for it.
MS-DOS is effectively freeware as well, under similar circumstances. In both
cases, my selling 'official' MS versions with included support is illegal, just
as it is illegal for me to sell 'official' RedHat distros that include support.

You are trapped in the hacker mindset that everyone is an expert, when they most
certainly are not. A non-official distro is useless to a non-expert, which means
its useless to most people.

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