BSD Mall : to hell

Andrew L. Gould algould at
Fri Feb 24 13:44:49 PST 2006

On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 20:54:25 GMT
Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos <miguel at> wrote:

> > Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 12:12:14 -0800 (PST)
> > From: "Jeremy C. Reed" <reed at>
> > To: Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos <miguel at>
> > cc: algould at, advocacy at
> > Subject: Re: BSD Mall : to hell
> >
> > On Fri, 24 Feb 2006, Miguel Lopes Santos Ramos wrote:
> >
> > > > 3. Red Hat employs many open source developers, many of whom
> > > > work on projects other than Linux (postgresql, for example).
> > > 
> > > I don't think this argument applies. It's a bit like saying that
> > > Bill Gates getting richer and richer is good, since he gives a
> > > third of his fortune to charity.
> >
> > Then your alternative is to pay the developers directly instead.
> >
> > Do you use gcc?
> >
> >  Jeremy C. Reed
> ;-)
> So, I now understand that the real reason why RedHat is more
> expensive than Debian is because it gives more money to open source
> projects... I just keep not understanding why the price of CDs sold
> unofficially in many stores that don't contribute to the projects is
> the same of those that do contribute...
> However funny it might seem, perhaps funding directly projects of
> which one depends directly would be better...
> Fact is that RedHat is a profit-driven company, traded in the stock
> market. Like every company, it must increase its revenues as much as
> possible and reduce its expenses as much as possible. It is a good
> thing for RedHat that most of the its prime matter it's free.
> Of course, RedHat funds several projects, but if it is a rational
> economic agent it will only do so in the measure that: a) is
> absolutely required to keep a project evolving to meet its clients
> needs, and b) it allows it to continue publicizing that it funds open
> source projects.
> Let's take gcc for example, how much of RedHat's money goes to gcc?
> Well, gcc was there long before RedHat existed, and it has evolved to
> meet RedHat's clients needs long ago (why should the quality of the
> compiler matter to RedHat back when Microsoft's compiler was very bad
> comparatively?), so I don't think gcc receives a lot because of a),
> and because of b) I suspect it receives only a quota of a global
> amount given to FSF. I'm really convinced that gcc owes very little
> of its existance to RedHat or similar fundings. But I'm just
> guessing, perhaps RedHat is more into Philanthropy.
> Miguel

1. The developers who place their work under the BSD, MIT, and GPL*
licenses allow for their work to be used in commercial products. If
they don't mind, why should you.

2. Yes, Red Hat is a for-profit entity.  In fact, the "E" in Red Hat EL
stands for "Enterprise".  You, as an individual, are not the targetted
market for that product.

3. Red Hat has, historically, been a good player in the open source
community.  In fact, their operating system **is** available for free.
If you don't want to pay for Red Hat EL, then download White Box Linux,
or CentOS, both of which are free rebuilds of Red Hat EL -- RH logos
have been stripped out, etc.  Red Hat is okay with this.

Now, enough about a Linux vendor, let's get back to focusing on FreeBSD


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