Here is my comment reply toblog entry titled “ “.
First of all, open source software is NOT free of charge. It means “freedom”. There are several types of open source licenses. Each is slightly different in detail. The most generous one(IMHO) is BSD license.
Under GNU General Public license, anyone is ALLOWED to distribute the software for free or fee, provided source code is included. That means the pirate vendor is LEGAL if they sell OSS WITH souce code. At the other hand, some vendor sell Linux distro WITHOUT souce code(normally the last 2 CDs), it is ILLEGAL under GNU license.
However, some OSS are NOT freely download/distribute(example: Redhat Enterprise). Those software may contain components(or services, support) which disallow to re-distribute without permission. Vendor who sell(re-distribute) this kind of softwares WITHOUT permission is ILLEGAL.
The reason I buy OSS CDs is because I cannot afford downloading GBs image files using 56k dialup!!!
Regarding your reason no.2 on distribute OSS for free, it has been done by JARING previously in effort to support OSS. I got my CDs of Mandrake and OpenOffice! :D
Malaysia goverment does support open souce software. We always have those OSS seminars held in our country. However, we hardly see action being done to encourage user to use OSS…
Generally, if the vendor sells OSS(with complete souce code) that we can download for free(Mandrake, Fedora, etc), they are safe. If they are selling OSS that not available for free download(or without complete source code), then they may doing their job as “pirate vendor”. ;)
In a nutshell, we still need to refer to the software’s license for detail. I may made mistake(s) here, comments(or flame?) are welcome. :)
Note(to Othman Ahmad): OSS is not limited for personal use only, enterprise can use OSS without paying a cent too!