illegal version of linux debian?

Gregory Nolt

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there is a guy named Allan Hoover in PA that has altered and strictly locked down a linux system and then convinced the leaders of his church to allow the members to strictly use ONLY this os . he does not release the keys for it and all updates for the system have to be digitally signed by him.a 2 core - 4gb ram - 120 ssd system from him costs $800! is this legal? i would be willing to give anyone a copy of it that wants.
 


Condobloke

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Welcome to linux.org

I'll pass.
 

JasKinasis

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As long as he makes all of the source code available for anything that is licensed under the GPL - it’s fine. He isn’t breaking any laws. It’s ok to sell Free/libre/open source software.

However, his restrictive modifications are somewhat concerning because it affects the freedom of the users.

Could the users install their own OS over the top after buying one of his PCs?
If not - then I would argue that this is definitely a problem!

Whatever the case may be - It certainly seems unethical, but I don’t know about illegal!

And although we don’t have all of the information about him, or the systems he’s selling - From what I’ve read so far - Personally, I wouldn’t buy one of his machines, or install his modified version of Debian. And I would NOT recommend it to anybody else!

But it would be interesting to hear his side of the story!
 

jglen490

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Typical autocratic behavior. Despicable behavior for someone who professes to be church-like. I love being a part of my church, but if someone did that I'd be gone so fast it would suck the front door off its hinges.
 

Gregory Nolt

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As long as he makes all of the source code available for anything that is licensed under the GPL - it’s fine. He isn’t breaking any laws. It’s ok to sell Free/libre/open source software.

However, his restrictive modifications are somewhat concerning because it affects the freedom of the users.

Could the users install their own OS over the top after buying one of his PCs?
If not - then I would argue that this is definitely a problem!

Whatever the case may be - It certainly seems unethical, but I don’t know about illegal!

And although we don’t have all of the information about him, or the systems he’s selling - From what I’ve read so far - Personally, I wouldn’t buy one of his machines, or install his modified version of Debian. And I would NOT recommend it to anybody else!

But it would be interesting to hear his side of the story!
no he does not release the source code
 

Gregory Nolt

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i was just wondering if anyone out there would have an interest in trying to hack it . or better yet how to get him into trouble. see the problem is i am a member of that church
 

atanere

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i was just wondering if anyone out there would have an interest in trying to hack it .
"Hacking" (a person) is usually illegal... not a good thing to encourage to others. As was pointed out, modifying a Linux distro is not necessarily illegal itself. He can sell Debian, and he can sell computers.


or better yet how to get him into trouble
You need more evidence. If you have it, take it to the police.


the problem is i am a member of that church
A church would not try to control its members like that. This is a cult. Get out of it. Take friends and loved ones with you. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.
 

wizardfromoz

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g'day greg and welcome :)

this site is non-denominational, so i will not get entangled in religious dogma, but may i ask

1.
..i am a member of that church
by that, do you mean his actual congregation, or that church in a larger sense, albeit perhaps in a different city or state?

chris turner
wizardfromoz
 

Gregory Nolt

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g'day greg and welcome :)

this site is non-denominational, so i will not get entangled in religious dogma, but may i ask

1.


by that, do you mean his actual congregation, or that church in a larger sense, albeit perhaps in a different city or state?

chris turner
wizardfromoz
the Church is called old order mennonites and has thousands of members and yes this guy is from another state
 

jglen490

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Pride ...

It's the ruin of us all.
 

wizardfromoz

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i understand. greg, you are closer to 22 than 21, but many may think you are just a young whippersnapper looking for trouble, or to disparage hard-working people.

not true, i am sure, but they may think it.

is there anything to be said for voicing your concerns with some of the elders in your congregation, and see what their input is on whether anything can be done or looked into. or have you already done so?

people aged 45 to 65 i am thinking of, their input can carry a lot of weight.

most linux are licensed under the GNU GPL, aka GPL, that is the GNU General Public License - you can read it at the following site

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html

there are likely PDFs around.

others under the MIT - but i am pretty sure debian is GPL

now many will ask

what is linux?

so google that and have an answer ready

chris
 

smooth_buddha

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there is a guy named Allan Hoover in PA that has altered and strictly locked down a linux system and then convinced the leaders of his church to allow the members to strictly use ONLY this os . he does not release the keys for it and all updates for the system have to be digitally signed by him.a 2 core - 4gb ram - 120 ssd system from him costs $800! is this legal? i would be willing to give anyone a copy of it that wants.
Life can be perplexing at times. Things are never black or white and there are always 2 sides and 2 different points of view to every situation.

Its possible that perhaps this person has used linux ( given the freedom it alows a user) and created and modified his own operating system which adheres to the beliefs of the users this system is intended for. It most probably has good intentions behind it, although it may be percieved as shady it likely is born from a good place.

I suppose its a personal choice if you want to buy this system or not. Maybe its worth learning more about the modifications and what restrictions or freedoms have been imposed on the system. Perhaps the system has been made to be very user freindly to the your congregation so that everybody has an opputunity to use the web and services which are available. Or perhaps it has limited services and web use imposed upon it which may create conflicts with the groups beliefs.
Either way try to learn more about it and try to see both pros and cons of the system.
 


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