Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4343 mails)

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Re: [SLE] SLES8
  • From: Michael Hasenstein <mha@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 10:32:40 -0800
  • Message-id: <3DDE7848.2070809@xxxxxxxx>
Dmitry Melekhov wrote:

There is no official supplier in Russia :-)
Please, don't tell me about AltLinux, they don't sell Suse business products, but they are official reseller. Funny, isn't it? :-)

Could you or someone else tell me where can I read SLES8 license?
IMHO, this should be very easy to find product license.
For instance, SCO write in FAQ that their UL based distribution
is lincensed per server. But Suse is exception :-)


It's simple! (PLEASE read to the end before replying)

DISCLAIMER: Neither am I a lawyer nor do I speak in any official capacity for SuSE, so anything I write below may be complete BS and unusable in a court of law ;-)


1) license for the box

As far as the box you buy is concerned, there is no ONE license for it. Maybe copyright law applies, but otherwise, every single package comes with its own license. Most of them are one of the 20+ open source licenses (x-license, perl license, mozilla license, GPL, etc.). SuSE's admin tool yast2 has a slightly different version of an open source license: you can do anything, but if you resell it and make money in the process you have to get our permission first. Internally you can do with it as you please, though.


2) "maintenance" vs. "support"

Maintenance is when we supply you with update packages for problems you didn't even know you have ;-) Maintenance is a 1:m interaction, that means we, SuSE, just put the updates on the Maintenance Web once and all you customers go and get them yourselves.

Support is when you call us and a 1:1 interaction is required. Obviously, this requires significantly more resources on our part since someone has to talk to you, meaning we have to have more people, this business does not scale (we have to hire more peole). That's why "maintenance" is much cheaper than "support".


3) "license" for maintenance

There are two very different things: The "maintenance" as a process itself, i.e. the login we gave to you for access to our sacred maintenance web, and second, the actual update packages you download. The latter are under their respective licenses, see above, i.e. GPL, Perl license, mozilla license, yast license, etc. So once you get them we cannot prevent you from doing with them whatever you want.

BUT: If we find out you install them on more machines than you paid a maintenance fee for, no one can prevent us from simply cutting off your maintenance web acces. We do not have to provide this service if you do not pay.



SUMMARY:
You have to pay a per-machine maintenance fee or we can cut you off from maintenance. In addition, as Torsten already said, should you have any support issues with any update, you can call us only for the one machine you paid for - but I think this is the much weaker argument to pay us than the other one (that you can loose all maintenance web access).

Yes, one CAN make money even with GPL'ed packages without violating that license! Simply through the promise of access to/availability of more such packages (our updates) in the future. You pay for a promise and our service of MAKING those updates. We do not have any control over the ones you already got, since they have their own un-overridable licenses.


META-SUMMARY:
You do NOT pay anything for any licenses, you only pay for a SERVICE: access to maintenance web (and more, coming, packages). That's why no one can give you a "license text" for SLES-8. If you account for a purchase of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server put it all under "service costs", and zero under "licenses".


Michael


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