[conspire] SUSE Linux Professional boxed sets (again)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Sep 24 19:22:48 PDT 2004

OK, I have a little time to spare, and so wanted to post something
definitive on the question of non-redistributable programs in the SUSE
Linux 9.1 Professional Edition for IA32/AMD64 boxed set.

I have the exact boxed set in question in front of me:  It's stored on 
five CDs (provided), or alternatively you can use a pair of double-sided
DVDs.  One DVD has 32-bit installer and binary packages on side A and
the AMD64 equivalent on side B.  The second DVD has the same division
for source packages (32-bit on one side, AMD64 on the other).

To recap, last time 'round, I cited the following packages in the cited 
distribution (_at least_), as being very definitely non-redistributable:

Adobe Acroread
Opera Web browser
Real Networks RealPlayer8

'Cept, picture me having the following sort of early-morning telephone
conversation, this morning, bleary-eyed, with a good friend who is very
much a SUSE advocate (as am I, but I'm wary of violating companies'
copyrights).   (Dialogue is -very- loosely paraphrased.)

Him:  But how do you _know_ SUSE isn't shipping a version that includes
      permission to redistribute?
Me:   That's conceivable but unlikely in the case of, say, Acroread,
      except that you can verify for yourself that Adobe just doesn't
      do that.  They don't want to relinquish that much control; you
      can download it from their authorised site but it's just not
      like them to say "Well, but _that_ copy is fully redistributable."
      But more to the point, things like OpenPBS just aren't ever 
      downloadable at all:  The company behind it strictly uses a
      per-seat licensing model, and wants money for each copy.  If
      you buy a copy in SUSE, it's because SUSE Linux AG pays them, 
      and in turn SUSE wants you to pay them.
Him:  But wait a second!  SUSE gives aways copies, so that's not always
Me:   Yes, SUSE gives away a limited number of boxed sets.  They eat the
      cost of fees for those, that they have to pay to licensors like
      the OpenPBS guys.  But that doesn't invalidate my point at all.
      The OpenPBS guys aren't _willing_ to licence out with right to
      redistribute the same product that they ask a per-seat fee for.
      That would destroy the market for their product, inherently 
      eviscerating their business model -- because it's not just _one_
      copy they'd be authorising, but rather an infinite number of 
      copies given the right to redistribute.
Him:  Giving away copies in no way destroys their ability to no longer
      sell them.  For example, SUSE lets people copy the open-source 
      packages in the distribution, and they're still able to sell 
      things just fine.
Me:   (a bit annoyed)  I wasn't _talking_ about open source.  Kindly 
      don't lecture to me about open-source sales models; I've been 
      dealing with that topic intimately for more than a decade.  I 
      was talking about proprietary packages under a per-seat
      fee-dependent sales model.  You can't let people also have the 
      right to redistribute the same thing freely without shooting 
      your company in the foot.

It sort of went downhill... but my friend raised a genuine (if highly
improbable) hole in the preceding discussion:

o  I said Adobe Acroread, Moneyplex, OpenPBS, Opera Web browser, and
   Real Networks RealPlayer8 are non-redistributable, period.  
o  But I don't actually know that.  Nothing is _impossible_ about
   each of those being available either:
    o  in two editions, one fully redistributable and full-featured
       and the other redistributable but crippled in some way
       ("demoware", "trialware", etc.), or
    o  in two actually identical copies, but one redistributable and 
       the other not.

The only way to know for sure is to directly examine the licensing of
the software _in_ SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional Edition for IA32/AMD64.

Which brings me back to the boxed set in front of me.

I've grabbed:

acroread-5.08-202.i586.rpm  from  CD1
RealPlayer-  from CD1
moneyplex-5.0-188.i586.rpm  from CD4
opera-7.23-29.i586.rpm  from CD4
OpenPBS-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5
OpenPBS-clients-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5
OpenPBS-devel-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5
OpenPBS-mom-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5
OpenPBS-scheduler-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5
OpenPBS-server-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5
OpenPBS-utils-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm  from CD5

Man, I hate having to take RPMs apart manually.  _So_ messy.  But:

# rpm2cpio acroread-5.08-202.i586.rpm > acroread.cpio
# cpio -ivd < acroread.cpio 
  [annoying spew]

Hey, there's a ./usr/share/doc/packages/acroread/LICREAD.TXT file.

End User License Agreement
Please return any accompanying registration form to receive registration
2.1.  General Use.  You may install and Use a copy of the Software on your
compatible computer, up to the Permitted Number of computers; or
2.2.  Server Use.  You may install one copy of the Software on your
computer file server for the purpose of downloading and installing the
Software onto other computers within your internal network up to the
Permitted Number or you may install one copy of the Software on a
computer file server within your internal network for the sole and
exclusive purpose of using the Software
2.3.  Backup Copy.  You may make one backup copy of the Software,
2.4.  Home Use.  You, as the primary user of the computer on which the
Software is installed, may also install the Software on one of your home
computers.  However, the Software may not be used on your home computer
at the same time the Software on the primary computer is being used.
4. Transfer. You may not, rent, lease, sublicense or authorize all or
any portion of the Software to be copied onto another users computer
except as may be expressly permitted herein. You may, however, transfer
all your rights to Use the Software to another person or legal entity
provided that: (a) you also transfer each this Agreement, the Software
and all other software or hardware bundled or pre-installed with the
Software, including all copies, Updates and prior versions, and all
copies of font software converted into other formats, to such person or
entity;  (b) you retain no copies, including backups and copies stored
on a computer; and (c) the receiving party accepts the terms and
conditions of this Agreement and any other terms and conditions upon
which you legally purchased a license to the Software. Notwithstanding
the foregoing, you may not transfer education, pre-release, or not for
resale copies of the Software. 

Enough?  Basically, non-redistributable, except under very tight-ass
conditions in which _you_ are not allowed to keep a copy.  Onwards:

# rpm2cpio RealPlayer- > RealPlayer.cpio
# cpio -ivd < RealPlayer.cpio 
  [more spew]

And we're in luck again, in that there's a ./usr/lib/RealPlayer8/LICENSE



I don't think we need to look further down the licence than that.

# rpm2cpio moneyplex-5.0-188.i586.rpm > moneyplex.cpio
# cpio -ivd < moneyplex.cpio

We appear to have a licence "auf Deutsch", in ./opt/moneyplex/lizenz.txt , 
which somewhat wincingly I'll feed through Babelfish:

Final user license agreement
The Software "moneyplex SuSE Edition" SuSE Linux 8,2, 9,0 and 9,1 is
attached to the products free of charge. The use of the software is free
and may take place only in the context of the following
Lizenzbedingungnen. Therefore you read please the following text
completely and attentively. If you do not agree with the conditions as
per contract, you may not use the software.

1 use extent the use may take place only under SuSE Linux 8,2, 9,0 and
9,1. It is forbidden to you to amend the software to translate to
back-develop, to dekompilieren or to disassemblieren or derived works
provide. They will use of matrica offered registration possibility, in
order to be able to be informed as authorized licensees registered and
about updated versions of this software. The employment of the software
in the context of Application service Providing is forbidden. WebBanking
is a service of the T-Online AG. The use of WebBanking functionality in
moneyplex can take place therefore only via customers of the T-Online
AG. The use conditions of t-on-line-WebBanking are to be kept. Further
information finds you on the InterNet sides of T-Online: http://www.t
online.de. 2 passing on of the software the letting of the software is
expressly forbidden.

Again, there you have it.  Last candidate, OpenPBS.  Of the seven RPMs,
I'll pick OpenPBS-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm (for no special reason):  

# rpm2cpio OpenPBS-2.3.16-599.i586.rpm > OpenPBS.cpio
# cpio -ivd < OpenPBS.cpio

Thus, we end up looking at the
./usr/share/doc/packages/OpenPBS/PBS_License.text  file:

        OpenPBS (Portable Batch System) v2.3 Software License

Copyright (c) 1999-2002 Veridian Information Solutions, Inc.
All rights reserved.

For a license to use or redistribute the OpenPBS software under conditions
other than those described below, or to purchase support for this software,
please contact Veridian Systems, PBS Products Department ("Licensor") at:

   www.OpenPBS.org  +1 650 967-4675                  sales at OpenPBS.org
                       877 902-4PBS (US toll-free)

This license covers use of the OpenPBS v2.3 software (the "Software") at
your site or location, and, for certain users, redistribution of the
Software to other sites and locations.  Use and redistribution of
OpenPBS v2.3 in source and binary forms, with or without modification,
are permitted provided that all of the following conditions are met.
After December 31, 2003, only conditions 3-6 must be met:

1. Commercial and/or non-commercial use of the Software is permitted
   provided a current software registration is on file at www.OpenPBS.org.
   If use of this software contributes to a publication, product, or
   service, proper attribution must be given; see www.OpenPBS.org/credit.html

2. Redistribution in any form is only permitted for non-commercial,
   non-profit purposes. 

Wow!  That's the one I thought most likely to be non-redistributable,
and it turned out that I was wrong (as to non-commercial distribution).
But there's still the other four.  And maybe others I didn't even spot.

OK, I really do think that does settle the matter.

My aforementioned friend keeps trying to get a statement out of SUSE
Legal Dept., with help from the Oakland sales office.  That would be all
very well, but (as mentioned before) it's really not up to them, since
these are third-party rights we're talking about.

One last thing, on a more-upbeat note:  Despite the above, there's
_nothing_ wrong with installing a single copy of Linux 9.1 Professional
Edition for IA32/AMD64 onto some arbitrarily large number of friends' 
computers (in a non-commercial setting) -- provided that you avoid 
installing any of its "commercial" [sic], i.e., non-redistributable 
proprietary packages.  My earlier comment about what is NOT lawful 
related to duplicating the distribution in its entirety.  That, by 
contrast, is plainly unlawful.

Which reminds me:  Yes, I'll have that SUSE boxed set at...


Be there some time between 4 PM and midnight -- or be not there.  ;->

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