Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Aug 2006 17:52 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu MEPIS, the popular Ubuntu-based Linux distributor, has finally released its distribution source code under the GPL. Warren Woodford, CEO, is not one bit pleased with being forced to do so. Woodford has long disagreed with some parts of the GPL. He recently ran into some trouble with its requirement that downstream distributors of GPL code are obligated to provide source code to users in an easily accessible format. Note: Starting today, Mepis stories will be posted in the Ubuntu category.
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The cost of freedom
by TechGeek on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 00:50 UTC
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Sometimes there are costs with freedom. Mepis was built on free software. With that comes an obligation to continue to make it free. Hence the source code. One thing no one has mentioned: How would you like someone mooching off you. Lets imagine you build a distro and then pay to host the source. You are doing your best to comply with the GPL. No some little squirt comes along, bases a distro off yours, and says if you want the source go HERE. Should you have to host the source for some other distro or should every distro have to host their own?

Reply Score: 2

RE: The cost of freedom
by deanlinkous on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 04:56 in reply to "The cost of freedom"
deanlinkous Member since:

Thank you! Warren makes money from his distro and then expects Ubuntu or whoever to foot the bill for supplying source? Why is that considered reasonable to so many? How would he feel if many others did the same to him?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: The cost of freedom
by AkiFoblesia on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 05:25 in reply to "RE: The cost of freedom"
AkiFoblesia Member since:

Thank you! Warren makes money from his distro and then expects Ubuntu or whoever to foot the bill for supplying source? Why is that considered reasonable to so many? How would he feel if many others did the same to him?

it will be best if this kind of remark is postponed until all the facts are considered. the one who posted this does not seem to know that in Mr. Woodford is giving his changes in the source codes for free. It also shows ignorance on the fact that Warren pays for the proprietary softwares he uses so that every Mepis user can enjoy better benefits.

there is nothing wrong for charging a price if you cannot afford giving your product fully free, as long as you abide on all the rules.

that said, Warren should abide by the rules of GPL, be it practical or not. but to say that he is unreasonable for charging for something without consideration of what he has been through is no better than a quick and unfounded judgement.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: The cost of freedom
by orfanum on Thu 3rd Aug 2006 03:04 in reply to "The cost of freedom"
orfanum Member since:

It's very late (or too early) but I cannot resist this general retort.

It seems to me that there is a lot of heat around FOSS development, the ideas of free and freedom, i.e., strong advocacy for these concepts in this context, but equally a lot of defensiveness and proscription whenever freedom is apparently abused.

A couple of analogies, just for pondering;

You are a sports addict. You enjoy your sport, but you are not a professional. To the best of your ability, you play as often as you can, using the best equipment you can afford.

One day, your display of sporting prowess attracts some interested spectators. These spectators then start to turn up to watch you specifically. They cheer you on when you are doing well, and commiserate with you when you do badly.

The question is, do you now stop playing the sport you love simply because some other people are deriving pleasure and benefit from what you do happily and freely? Do you pack up your kit and storm off home, vowing never to play your hitherto beloved sport ever again as a result?

Going further, one day, someone starts to organise these spectators, advertises when you are playing and begins to charge money to see you play.

Does this really have anything to do with why you started playing originally, would this really undermine your fundamental sentiments as to why you were motivated to play your sport in the first place?

Second analogy:

You have a social conscience. It is part and parcel of who you are and who you claim to be. You gift money to the needy. A wino approaches you, knowing this is the case. The wino asks for money. You may be right to think that the wino will go off and purchase more alcohol simply, and that you will not be improving their lot by giving the money. Therefore you refuse to give. But how does such a calculating attitude sit with your proclaimed intention to give to the needy? You cannot claim that the wino isn't in a general state of need. You freely chose to cultivate and practice a way of life based on a well-honed social conscience. What have the wino's actions got to do with this pristine statement of intent you have, uncoerced, based your life on?

Who is monkeying with freedom? The spectators, the huckster, the wino, or you?

Reply Parent Score: 2