Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (229 mails)

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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] RM proxy server query
  • From: "Stephen Ogden" <psuedo_azrael@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 13:06:12 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <F2468NiT6NKxb8Y59yM0001ca47@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Philip Hands <phil@xxxxxxxxx>
On Sun, 2002-04-07 at 01:26, Stephen Ogden wrote:
> RM now sell a proxy server solution that uses proxy .. caching but not
> filtering.. unless you pay extra.
> They don't even give you the root password so you can install extra stuff
> yourself.

That's a bit poor, but I suppose they are trying to prevent people from
shooting themselves in the foot.

True, all maintainance has to be done by them, or you void the warranty.. but it very nicely prevents you even seeing what software is used.. or adding your own.

> I was just curious in what way this reflected the license of the GPL
> software they are selling.. does witholding access to your ability to modify
> the program count as any sort of infringement?

Well, I doubt the are withholding access in any real manner. If you
have physical access, you should be able to get root, by rebooting, and
either breaking in at the LILO prompt, or booting of a rescue floppy or
CD. If they've made it so that you'd need to void the warranty to
acheive this, then it is starting to look like they're going at least
against the spirit of the GPL, if not the letter.

Yes, that's the way I see it.. it feels really dirty!

Do they provide source code for the product? If it's GPLed, in part or
whole and they've not accompanied it either with the source, or with a
reasonably prominent offer of the source, and idication of your right to
it, then they're in breach of the GPL.

I can't say for sure, however, as you have no access to the box, who knows what software you're even getting! It is probably just standard squid. And all the source may well be available on the machine.. that you can't get into.

I did offer to get in and change the root password.. but the man in charge thought that would be a rather bad idea ... he's probably right

Cheers, Phil.


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