Linked by Kroc Camen on Tue 15th Jun 2010 20:37 UTC, submitted by E Herchemals
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris It seems that the previous news about Mandriva SA being for sale have been more than simple rumors. Frederic Cuif* (incorrectly unaccented due to limitations in our CMS), active member of the French-speaking Mandriva User Group has summed up the various outcomes and proposed projects he found after contacting several key members of the company in order to gather information. The result of his investigation can be found on his blog, along with a detailed analysis of the Mandriva business model and the proposed outcomes, from a renewed interest in the distribution and the community from Linagora, potential buyer, to what could be the end of the Mandriva adventure if nothing is done. (Thanks to everybody who submitted this)
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my mandriva story
by fuzzywombat on Wed 16th Jun 2010 22:07 UTC
fuzzywombat
Member since:
2006-11-21

Some of Mandriva's problem is really their own doing. At one time as a Linux advocate I was trying to get as many frustrated Windows users over to Linux as many as I can. This was right around the time when Red Hat made a big fuss about protecting their trademark which hindered the distribution of their desktop os in both iso and as well as physical media. They soon dropped out of desktop Linux market altogether.

Of course Mandrake was a natural alternative at the time since it was closest cousin to Red Hat. Soon after I started distributing Mandriva, I had their lawyers come after me for promoting and distributing their free version of the product. Apparently Mandriva had an advertisement clause in the end user license agreement that was very similar to XFree86. We all know how that worked out for XFree86. I guess they made the free version available because they were contractually obligated to do so under GPL but they didn't want people actually using it or distributing it. My guess is that they didn't want users who are using the free version to call into Mandriva asking for help.

The advertisement clause basically said that if I was to distribute a copy of the free version, I was required to include a Mandriva free version logo, a big paragraph of text that explained that this was free version and that Mandriva offered a paid version, and a long url where user can buy the paid version. That doesn't sound all that bad but the wording of the advertisement clause paragraph made it sound like the free version was just a trial software and that it was not entirely legal to run the free version indefinitely. It turns out having this sort of advertisement clause is in fact violation of GPL. A group that focused on enforcing GPL did agree with me on this but they really didn't do anything about it. I tried to work with Mandriva lawyer on this issue but it didn't go anywhere. I ended up dropping Mandriva from my list recommended Linux distribution because of this. Soon after Ubuntu came along and I moved on from Mandriva.

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