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SuSE Businesses Operating Systems Software Linux

OpenSUSE 11.1 License Changes Examined 90

Posted by kdawson
from the clear-and-simple dept.
nerdyH writes "Novell's recent openSUSE 11.1 release includes a new end-user license agreement modeled after Fedora's EULA, says Community Manager Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier in this detailed interview. Zonker says distributions should apply the 'open source principle' and standardize trademark agreements and EULA, similar to how the OSI sought to reduce open source license proliferation a few years back. But with Fedora and openSUSE being so different, can one size really fit all? And, will open source licenses ever finally get translated into languages besides English? (Zonker says that translation into 7 languages was done for openSUSE 11.1.)"
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OpenSUSE 11.1 License Changes Examined

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  • by jabithew (1340853) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @09:58AM (#26222577)

    Another problem is, if the license is in several languages, and there is a discrepancy, one language must take primacy. See the case with the Irish constitution [wikipedia.org].

  • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:02AM (#26222609)

    Well, that is because there are no x.0 products. All products are just a follow up on the previous one. The x.0 does not exist in the way it exists in numbering with software packages.

    11.0 could have easily been named 10.4 and be identical, except for the naming. 11.1 could have been named 10.5 or 7.15 or 3.1415 (or whatever)
    There is NO relevance to a release x.0, except that is vaguely is the version that usually is the version before a SLE release, although this is not a fixed truth.

    So you must have never used even S.u.S.E. or SuSE or SUSE, because this has been the case since forever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:21AM (#26222783)

    In fact, the languages are:
    English (US)
    French
    German
    Italian
    Japanese
    Portugese (Brazilian)
    Simplified Chinese
    Spanish
    Traditional Chinese.

  • by hchaudh1 (963268) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:34AM (#26222877)
    You might want to take a look at this then: http://www.itwire.com/content/view/22434/1154/ [itwire.com]
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:38AM (#26222915) Journal
    The translated licenses are informational at best and wrong at worst. If you translate the GPL (for example), then you will end up with something that is not saying exactly the same thing as the GPL, and so you do not have the right to redistribute the code with the new license unless the copyright owner agrees to dual-license it under the translation.

    As for EULAs, they already are standardised. If the end user needs a license, then it fails the Free Software definition at freedom 0 (the freedom to use the software for any purpose) and the OSI's definition. It is not Free Software, and it is not Open Source Software. One of the main attractions of F/OSS is that it makes accounting much easier, because you can not be in violation of the license unless you distribute it. Add an end user license agreement, and this advantage goes away - even if it's permissive, you still need to get your legal department to check it and agree. With a F/OSS license, legal don't need to go near it unless you are producing derived works or distributing the code.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @10:49AM (#26223013)

    Well, that is because there are no x.0 products. All products are just a follow up on the previous one. The x.0 does not exist in the way it exists in numbering with software packages.

    11.0 could have easily been named 10.4 and be identical, except for the naming.

    That's not really true. 10.4 would have all the same old versions of things (e.g. ssh) with even more patches applied by SuSE, along with the old kernel, patched up the wahzoo.

    11.0 has a new kernel, additional things that weren't in 10.x, and newer versions of most everything else, and the patching starts anew.

    It's arguable whether the old versions, plus all the SuSE applied patches, are equivalent to the newer version or not.

  • by Hal The Computer (674045) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @11:06AM (#26223179)

    Another problem is, if the license is in several languages, and there is a discrepancy, one language must take primacy. See the case with the Irish constitution.

    Which is of course wrong. Just because it's the way you do it doesn't mean it's the only way.

    The constitution of Canada, and all Canadian federal laws, are equally authentic in either French or English. There are some really fun rules of statutory interpretation which end up meaning that you have to read both texts and figure out their common meaning.

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