"A brand new Russian OS": do they break the GPL?..

Bohdan Kovalchuk

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Hey there, fellas! I was just serfing around the Internet and found this weird stuff (in Russian).
Let me explain for those who don't understand Russian: guys from Russia made smth like an ubuntu distribtive, named it like "Russian operating system" and started to sell it for 5000 RUB (about 87 USD). BTW, costumers will pay for adding their unique "alpha-os" repository (it says that way on their website), and after all this users will also have to pay some money each year.
So my question is: is it legal? I mean it looks like breaking the GPL, doesn't it? Because i didn't find any open source codes for their, as they say, "modified linux kernel called alpha core".
Thanks for ur attention!
 


JasKinasis

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To paraphrase Richard Stallman:
"Free software is a matter of freedom, not price/cost".

There is nothing wrong with the developers charging for their OS.
I couldn't see any download links for anything on the page. I can't read Russian either, so I used Google translate to translate the site to English.
I assume a download link would be emailed after purchasing a copy of the OS.

And there is nothing wrong in any of that.

However, if you have purchased a copy of their OS, then legally you have the right to be able to download the source code for any parts of the system that are originally licensed under the GPL. Which would include their modified kernel.

If they fail to provide the means to do so - then yes, they are in breach of the GPL. But so far, from my limited knowledge I can't see any evidence that they are in breach of anything just yet. It all seems fairly legitimate to me.

It might just be that they only want people who have paid for the software to be able to access the source code.
 
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Bohdan Kovalchuk

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To paraphrase Richard Stallman:
"Free software is a matter of freedom, not price/cost".

There is nothing wrong with the developers charging for their OS.
I couldn't see any download links for anything on the page. I can't read Russian either, so I used Google translate to translate the site to English.
I assume a download link would be emailed after purchasing a copy of the OS.

And there is nothing wrong in any of that.

However, if you have purchased a copy of their OS, then legally you have the right to be able to download the source code for any parts of the system that are originally licensed under the GPL. Which would include their modified kernel.

If they fail to provide the means to do so - then yes, they are in breach of the GPL. But so far, from my limited knowledge I can't see any evidence that they are in breach of anything just yet. It all seems fairly legitimate to me.

It might just be that they only want people who have paid for the software to be able to access the source code.
The point is that they don't want u to pay for the system itself — you have 2 pay for some "adding the original alpha-os repository', and they don't even tell u, which programs are there. Is it OK? I mean, I don't think that they developed smth original (because in that case they would have posted some info about it to their website), and I'm sure that there is only a free software on their "original" repos.
 

wizardfromoz

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Hi Bohdan, hi all.

Basically what he said, above, :D I agree with all of Jas's points.

I was researching this a bit earlier in the day (my day, DownUnder).

The Linux kernel is licensed under GPL v2, and GPL v3 came out in 2007, I think, but it is retrospective.

With GPL v3 came the principle of "copyleft" as compared with copyright, and under that principle, the source code has to be made available, and I believe at nil cost (extra).

Richard Stallman at FSF (Free Software Foundation) would know more.

Some elements might need to be "tested" perhaps by enquiry or purchase?

I also note, from the translation, that the product ships with Kingsoft's WPS as a productivity suite, as opposed to LibreOffice. I have met a couple of people whom favoured WPS, but it is not as fully featured as LO, IMO. It is made in China.

Cheers

Wizard

BTW note Bohdan's and my posts at same time. I am unable to answer the question, regrets.

Edited added BTW
 

Bohdan Kovalchuk

New Member
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Hi Bohdan, hi all.

Basically what he said, above, :D I agree with all of Jas's points.

I was researching this a bit earlier in the day (my day, DownUnder).

The Linux kernel is licensed under GPL v2, and GPL v3 came out in 2007, I think, but it is retrospective.

With GPL v3 came the principle of "copyleft" as compared with copyright, and under that principle, the source code has to be made available, and I believe at nil cost (extra).

Richard Stallman at FSF (Free Software Foundation) would know more.

Some elements might need to be "tested" perhaps by enquiry or purchase?

I also note, from the translation, that the product ships with Kingsoft's WPS as a productivity suite, as opposed to LibreOffice. I have met a couple of people whom favoured WPS, but it is not as fully featured as LO, IMO. It is made in China.

Cheers

Wizard

BTW note Bohdan's and my posts at same time. I am unable to answer the question, regrets.

Edited added BTW
Hey, sir!
Check out my latest reply above.
Thank u!
 
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