Re: Debian in a commercial setting
[I should point out that, though I am a Progeny employee, this is not an
official statement from Progeny. I am speaking merely as a Debian
developer, and not one vested with any official capacity beyond the
normal privileges associated with membership in the project.]
On Fri, 2002-10-18 at 08:18, Conny Brunnkvist wrote:
> 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.
Just to be clear, although Progeny's Debian-based distribution was
discontinued, Progeny itself is alive and well.
> 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 ..
The DFSG is designed to ensure that all of the software in main and
contrib are legal for this purpose, among others.
I should caution you: the GPL is one software license among many that
are acceptable to Debian under the DFSG. It is not necessarily
important that all of your software is GPLed; what is important is that
you respect the licenses of all the software you modify and distribute.
In some cases, this may mean that you cannot use the GPL for some
portions of your work.
The GPL is a fine license for your own work that is not derivative of
someone else's; for derivative works, it is generally better to license
your changes under the same license as the original.
> What was the product name of Progeny's distro - was it "Progeny GNU/Linux" of
> "Progeny Debian GNU/Linux"?
The official name of the product was "Progeny Debian".
> 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
Giving credit to the Debian project is, of course, not a problem.
You should be careful, however, that your name does not cause
confusion. It should be clear that your distribution is not Debian, but