Debian in a commercial setting
Hello there. I'm an independent consultant in Sweden and I'd like to confirm
some legal issues with you that I think you have come in contact with before.
I'm very fond of the Debian project, and it has been sad to hear that Progeny
among with other commercial Debian-based distributions have been discontinued
lately. At the same time not at all negative as long as the effort goes back
into the original Debian project. However I don't believe that commercial
versions are a dead end if you are for example targeting a specific niche.
Many governmental organization (including school and healthcare) in Sweden
are, just like in other countries around the world looking for ways of
lowering costs and reducing vendor-dependency of their IT-departments. The
word is spreading and companies, including me, have started to look for ways
of meeting their needs. My approach on using Debian-based systems (with
customized packages, alternative installers and configs) as a foundation to
build services upon.
To meet the requirement of certain "vendor-independence" I'm taking use of the
nifty features of APT + dpkg to "keep the back door open" for my customers,
guaranteeing them that whatever happens to my company or our partnership, they
will be able to convert their systems into standard Debian installations that
anyone can support, if they so whish.
I'm also very interested in making sure that whatever improvements we can make
are in favor of the Debian project, since we owe the project everything and
enjoy the collaborative effort. Thus I'm planning on becoming an official
Debian partner if that is possible as soon as things have started moving here.
So my questions are, is it legal to do this? Whatever software I produce (such
as installers) will of course be GPL as well as available to regular
debian-users as well if they just add my site to their sources.list ..
What was the product name of Progeny's distro - was it "Progeny GNU/Linux" of
"Progeny Debian GNU/Linux"? Is it ok for me to call my version "MySpecial
Debian GNU/Linux" since in reality it is just a collection of addons to the
official Debian packages + other installer? Or is it fine if I just pay the
respect to the main-branch and write something like "Powered by Debian" in the