I encountered another reference in the mainstream analysis to Red Hat “obfuscating” their work on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This really is a tempest in a teapot.
The rules that the FSF put in place in their license and that Linus used allow Red Hat to do what they’re doing to protect their business. I think folks complaining about the “obfuscation” need to separate in the minds the free software project that thrives from the product being sold. It's not like Red Hat hasn't invested an enormous amount of economic effort in Linux year-on-year for 15 years, and continues so to do. One could question what actual economic value CentOS contributes to Planet Linux by repackaging RHEL.
For those that are really unhappy, they can speak with their pocketbook or their feet. It's their right in the marketplace and exactly the vision for software freedom that Stallman argued in 1985 and the Open Source Initiative reinforced in 1997.
Tempest meet teapot.
Stephen is the Technical Director of the Outercurve Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with the goal of bringing software developers and open source community members together to participate in open source projects.
Stephen has worked in the IT industry since 1980 as both customer and vendor. He was most recently a consultant on software business development and open source strategy. His customers included Microsoft, the Eclipse Foundation, the Linux Foundation. He's an adviser to Ohloh (acquired by SourceForge), Bitrock, Continuent, and eBox.
He organized the agenda, speakers and sponsors for the inaugural Beijing Open Source Software Forum as part of the 2007 Software Innovation Summit in Beijing. Stephen was VP Open Source Development Strategy at Optaros, a business manager at Microsoft on open source, and VP R+D and founder at Softway Systems, a venture-backed company that developed a UNIX portability environment for NT before being acquired by Microsoft. He was a long time participant and officer at the IEEE and ISO POSIX standards groups, representing both USENIX and EurOpen (E.U.U.G.) and a regular speaker and writer on open systems standards since 1991.
His personal blog: Once More unto the Breach.
Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenrwalli