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Legal Questions about Scientific Linux

Is it legal? Can I use it?

Q. Is Scientific Linux legal?

A. Yes

Q. Are you sure?

A. Yes

Q. I really don't want to get into legal trouble, please convince me that this is legal.

A. What we are doing is getting the source rpm of each package, from a publicly available area.
Each of these packages, except for a few, have the GPL license. This license states that we can freely distribute that package.  We are recompiling those packages without any change. According to the license, we can freely distribute those rpm's that were built.
The packages that have limits on them (anaconda-images, and a few others) we are changing according to the license agreement that comes with those packages. There are a couple other packages, that reference to logo's and/or services, that we feel obliged to change even though legally we do not have to.
So in the end we are left with a bunch of rpm's that are freely distributable. And although these rpm's are basically identical to the commercial enterprise linux distribution we started with, they were built by us. We can do with them what we want. We are choosing to make them freely distributable.
Now comes the interesting part. The commercial enterprise distribution's installation program, is anaconda. Anaconda is also open source.  It actually has a very large open source community.  We are choosing to use anaconda to install our version of linux. 
We could very well choose any installation program to do the install.  Other commercial enterprise distribtuions installation programs are also open source. We aren't as familiar with those, so we decided to go with the installation program we are familiar with, anaconda.

So in short.  Scientific Linux can be freely distributable.  Although it is basically identical to a commercial enterprise linux distribution, it is in essence a completely different release, just with the same programs, packaged in the same way.

I'm not part of a university or lab, can I use Scientific Linux?

Yes Although S.L. is primarily for Universities and Lab, we are not making any limitations on who can use it.

Can my commercial company use Scientific Linux?

Yes See above answer.
If you are selling a product that uses Scientific Linux, you are required to change your yum and/or apt config files to point to your own Scientific Linux mirror and/or repository.
You must also abide by all trademark rules.

Q. What guarantees does Scientific Linux provide?

A. None. No warranty of any kind is provided.
Created by dawson
Last modified 2012-01-06 02:12 PM
 

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