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RE: [Xen-users] Xen License

To: "Rudi Ahlers" <rudiahlers@xxxxxxxxx>, <Xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] Xen License
From: "Jonathan Tripathy" <jonnyt@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 09:32:18 +0100
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Xen License

From: Rudi Ahlers [mailto:rudiahlers@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Thu 10/06/2010 09:01
To: Jonathan Tripathy
Cc: greno@xxxxxxxxxxx; Xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Xen License

On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 9:35 AM, Jonathan Tripathy <jonnyt@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
While I agree with you, I am lead to believe that at least Debian, Ubuntu and CentOS's "Packages" come will either GPL or BSD licensed software, which requires no money to pay. Otherwise those guys wouldn't be allowed to distribute those packages either.
But did you actually read what Greno said???
Every distro has it's own licensing terms which you need to abide by. If, CentOS for example, had a package with a licenses that said you can't used it for commercial purposes, although it's free, then you need to abied to that license if you were to rent out the VPS to the clients.
When was the last time that you read the license agreement on CentOS, Debian, openSuse, etc? OR for that matter, the license agreements on stuff like XEN / KVM / VirtualBox / OpenVZ / etc? They all have their own license agreements, which could put you into a legal battle if you don't follow it. Even if CentOS / Debian / openSuse is GPL.
Why do you presume that I havn't read the license? I have done extensive (and I mean extensive!) reading of the GPL, GPLv2 and GPLv3, and I have been in touch with the free software foundation over some issues. If you knew me, you'd know how funny that question you asked is!
Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS don't contain any software which don't allow commercial purposes (out of the box anyway). Xen, KVM, and OpenVZ are all released under the same or similar licenses. There is nothing in those distros or products that will get me, or anyone else doing hosting with those products, into any copyright licensing trouble at all (Provided you abide by the terms of the GPL, which is easy*!). GPL compliance is very easy in hosting. There is nearly nothing to do! It is a grey area on whether or not hosting is counted as distribution. GPLv3 would say that it isn't ("Mere interaction with a user through a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying."). GPLv2 doesn't mention anything about hosting, probably as it wasn't around back then when it was created. To be on the safe side, all you need to do, is just place the source code on your website. But even this probably isn't necessary. It's probably jsut eaiser to offer the source code. Tivoisation clasues are in GPLv3, but arn't really relevant in hosting.
Clearly Rudi didn't read what I had to say, which was that "I agree" with Greno. However it is almost (but not quite) a moot point, as with GPL, there is almost nothing to do! With the BSD-style licenses, there is really nothing to do at all!
This is what makes  FOSS so great! While many will try and tell you that "Oh you'll get into legal trouble", they clearly have some vested interest in some software that is non-free, or just don't know how FOSS works!
With the GPL anyway, the bottom line is easy: To  everyone you "convery" the software to, give out or offer the source, and pass on all you're rights of the GPL to the person you "conveyed" the software to.
*Easy if you are not a programmer 
So Rudi, when was the last time you actually read the licenses for those products?
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