The reason that a Linux distribution is "free" is that many of the pieces of software it includes are covered by the GNU General Public License (GPL for short).
There are two different types of "free":
freedom to see and modify the source code ("libre")
free of charge ("gratis")
The GPL is about the first "freedom", not the second.
Provided Red Hat ...
@rob is right. GNOME is technically an official GNU project. However, there is a lot of interesting history.
Let's roll back the clock
It's 1996. There are no desktop environments. Users and sysadmins assemble environments from a hodge-podge of programs. Different window managers, different applications, maybe a dock. There are two major toolkits on the ...
Copyrighted means there is a copyright and license protecting that. The license in the case of the Linux kernel is GPL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html).
In a nutshell, you are allowed to modify the code in any way you wish. However, if you distribute your modified code, you have to license it GPL and keep the credit to the original authors. Also, if ...
What versions of the GPL are being used here?
Regardless, what you have described is, I think, permitted by the GPL. However, since under the GPL, the companies have to provide the source code for the software, so you should be able to rebuild the software without the offending crap. If they will not provide the source, they are in violation of the GPL, and ...
A lot of what RedHat charges for is actually the support and services around the OS itself. They have their own specific config and build, but any Linux provider has that.
The real reason RedHat can charge is that their support services are appropriate at enterprise level. Their market space includes corporates and large organisations whose need for ...
I am not a lawyer. Take this as worth what you paid me for it. That said, I'll try to lay out my reasoning to allow you to reach your own conclusion as well.
TL;DR: Yes, legally it would appear to be allowed by the GPL.
The longer version:
The GNU GPL is a redistribution and source code usage license. Nothing more. Particularly, it never enters into the ...
Here's the preamble to COPYING, included with the kernel source:
NOTE! This copyright does not cover user programs that use kernel
services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use
of the kernel, and does not fall under the heading of "derived
work". [...] note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as
the kernel is ...
Android's source code is released by Google under open source licenses, although most Android devices ultimately ship with a combination of open source and proprietary software, including proprietary software developed and licensed by Google.
Open source part (http://source.android.com/) is licensed under Apache Software License, Version 2.0 ("Apache 2.0"),...
Is anyone allowed to share modified program using same name?
It depends; the GPL doesn't really specify that, since names aren't copyrighted. They are, however, obligated to clearly state it's not the same:
The work must carry prominent notices stating that you modified it, and giving a relevant date.
To control the name itself, you need a trademark, ...
First of all, a GNU/Linux distribution consists of many software packages, some of which are licensed under GNU GPL, but there are other licenses involved as well. For example, Perl is covered under the Artistic License or GPL — your choice, and Apache is covered by the Apache license. That said, the GPL is one of the strongest copyleft licenses that you'...
Yes. The GPL wouldn't prevent that.
one contained embedded advertisements for a competing product
This one seems odd (unless that other product somehow benefits the developers of the free version) but is perfectly legit. Note however that they must provide you (or allow you to get) the source code for the product, so you† could compile your own copy ...
I am not a lawyer, but I think the answer is yes. From GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
Conveying Verbatim Copies.
You may convey verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice; keep intact all notices stating that ...
To be a bit more specific, Red Hat does freely provide the source RPMs used to build the binary version of their distribution (the base ISO, updates, etc). You can grab all the SRPMs and build them, and you will essentially have RHEL. There are a number of projects that do just this (with some rebranding), notable CentOS, Scientific Linux, White Box, etc.
Here is the MINIX 3 license:
Copyright (c) 1987, 1997, 2006, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam,
The Netherlands All rights reserved. Redistribution and use of the MINIX 3
operating system in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
* Redistributions of source code must ...
I'm not sure what to look for in the verbose background you give, so I'll just answer the questions.
1) Which clause of GPLv2 allow such vendors (like Arista) to sell [derivatives of the Linux kernel]?
The first one. It explicitly allows distribution and taking a fee. Though clause 6 gives the recipients a right to re-distribute it, possibly for free.
I have that same version on my Fedora 14 machine. man screen contains a COPYLEFT section that states:
Copyright (C) 1993-2003
Juergen Weigert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michael Schroeder (email@example.com)
Copyright (C) 1987 Oliver Laumann
This program is free software; you can redistribute ...
The GPL gives the distributor of the software three options:
a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any ...
Do I need to distribute the sources of the complete linux distribution?
Yes (see here) but
Would it be enough to provide links to the source repository?
Would I think count as distribution -- there is not much of a point in you having parallel repos, so as long as you include a valid public reference to where you got it, I doubt anyone will be upset. ...
Both Canonical's Ubuntu Software Partner repository (having proprietary applications) and Steam OS tell that it's entirely possible.
The fun (I guess) would start at when you are giving support to people. If you are coding yourself all the proprietary packages/programs then you may be able to figure out most of the issues, if however, the proprietary ...
The Minix 3 license looks very similar to a standard BSD style license which is more permissive than the GPL, for example it will allow commercial use of the software in binary form without forcing a release of the source code.
It is considered free software (like any of the BSD software), but is not compatible with the GPL mainly due to the "advertising ...
If you want a RedHat without licence costs use Fedora, Scientific Linux or CentOS.
Fedora is from RedHat, whereas Scientific and CentOS are RedHat clones.
CentOS is closer to RedHat, its main aim is binary compatibility.
OpenSource does not forbid that you pay for (patch) distribution support.