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Caldera Per Seat Licensing

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the now-that-seems-a-little-fishy dept.

Caldera 259

Motor writes "Caldera is to "introduce per-seat licenses for their upcoming OpenLinux Workstation 3.1." I'm not sure how I feel about this. I guess theoretically they can do it, although it sure feels wrong somehow. But I've always been somewhat wary of Caldera.

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I know how I feel... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#129092)

Posted by polar_bear:

Caldera is a third-rate company desperate for a business model. They can't compete with any of the other Linux distros on quality - their distro sucks and they're slow to issue updates, security fixes and new packages, all of their additions have been proprietary and generally not as good as what SuSE and Mandrake have come up with.

Right now there's no compelling reason to go with Caldera over other Linux distros - and now they're pissing away the advantage that Linux has over Microcrap products - namely no licensing fees. Right, that's going to be compelling for people considering Linux - Look, we can choose SuSE or Red Hat and pay for support where we need it but not worry about licensing fees, or we can go with Caldera - a company that doesn't know what to do with SCO now that they spent their wad on it, and they have no innovations that make their distro compelling. I wonder what the CFO would say to that...

RMS called it - Caldera is a company of parasites. Let's hope they go bankrupt soon - if they do, they'll have not only put the community out of their misery, they'll also have knocked off SCO Unix as a competitor to Linux by thoroughly bungling it and screwing over all the SCO resellers in the process of the slow and painful transition from SCO to Caldera. (Odd that no one seems to be talking about that...) If they don't like the GPL, then let 'em make their own *BSD distro instead.

Well, this is more of a rant than a focused post. Sorry, but Caldera was quick to jump on the Linux bandwagon and try to act all "community" when it suited their needs - but that didn't cure their woes, so now they're just as eager to piss all over the community that built 90% of the software in their distro.

I think the GPL is the way to go, but there are days when I'm tempted to design a license that is similar to the GPL but forbids bundling with licensing schemes like Caldera's - why should parasites like that be allowed to siphon code off the Linux Community without giving anything back? What have they ever contributed to the community? I've never even seen evidence of so much as a bugfix originating from Caldera, much less an actual GPL'ed program.

Those who take and do not give (1)

Tony (765) | more than 13 years ago | (#129095)

Interesting. I suspected Caldera would one day try something like this; Caldera has constantly demonstrated an old-school mentatility. I'm sorry they cannot make it any other way.

Although I wish Caldera the best, this is not a good sign. They are alienating the group on whom they most rely-- the developers and community of Linux.

Re:News flash! (1)

Tony (765) | more than 13 years ago | (#129096)

A little of both. Why do you ask?

Re:So what? (1)

Tony (765) | more than 13 years ago | (#129097)

I'm just sad that Caldera Doesn't Get It. They are implementing this new licensing policy about the same time Red Hat announces their first real profit-- sad, isn't it?

Re:News flash! (2)

Tony (765) | more than 13 years ago | (#129098)

News flash 2: Per-seat licenses are a way of making money.

News flash 3: So is extortion, blackmail, forgery, and contract killing.

Doesn't make them right.

Nothing New, Really... (1)

mholve (1101) | more than 13 years ago | (#129100)

Many companies have tried this approach with their Unices...

For example, SCO, NetWare (not Unix), even Solaris - and NT for that matter. You could purchase a "X user(s) license" version.

For Caldera to try this approach is a little backwards, IMO. What are they trying to restrict? Unless it's some software they added to the distro, I don't see how it would really work... Someone could just recompile or reinstall the effected package and be done with it.

Then there's the whole "NT Workstation vs. Server" debate - that being that the two versions are actually the same, albeit for a few tweaks.

Re:Something to think about... (2)

hawk (1151) | more than 13 years ago | (#129101)

>They also seem to have forgotten the fact that they have a bunch of
>major competitors, most notably Redhat, Mandrake, and SuSE, who would
>probably love to soak up Caldera's share of the Linux market, both
>present and future.


Oooh, that will have them quaking in their boots: all the non-paying customers will go to the other distributions, leaving them with ony, uhh, the ones willing to pay :)


I'm sure Redhat, et al, are drooling over the prospects of people driven away by not getting it all for free . ..


:)


hawk

How can I get called that in print? (2)

hawk (1151) | more than 13 years ago | (#129102)

As junior faculty, I must constantly worry about my tenur application in a few years. "Greedy Capitalist" would look grat on on economist's application. Where can I get called one in something I can cite? :)


:)


hawk

Ransom Love will not get ransom nor love (2)

Andy Tai (1884) | more than 13 years ago | (#129104)

Ransom Love clearly does not understand Linux. By attacking Richard Stallman, and now starting this proprietary form of licensing, Caldera is going down the path of self destruction. Ransom Love, already an unlovable person to the community, will just move closer to the image of Bill Gates, and he will never receive love nor his ransom (the price he demanded for OpenLinux, since people will prefer more open choices like Red Hat).

Re:Something to think about... (5)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 13 years ago | (#129112)

Actually, Caldera spends quite a bit of time complaining about Linux compatibility. They realize that RedHat is the de-facto standard now, and that RedHat is what is used by most Linux developers (both in the free software and commmercial software world). This means that when a developer packages an RPM of their work they basically only test against RedHat, leaving the Caldera users to build the software themselves (assuming that it comes with source), or to install the correct libraries (if it is closed source). This is a pain. So when someone does pay for a Linux distribution, or signs up for service and support which distribution do they choose? Well duh, they choose RedHat. It's the most popular. It has the most developer support, and it runs all current Linux software "out of the box."

Caldera, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to combat this by charging a per seat licensing fee, which is basically guaranteed to make their distribution even more unpopular. I personally thought that Caldera saw the light some time ago when the GPLed their installation routine. Caldera has always had a fantastic distribution, but RedHat was more open (if not quite as good) and so RedHat got the market share (and the sales). It turns out that most Linuxers would rather have an inferior piece of software that they can fix over a fancy proprietary piece of software that they can't. Being open is the only way to survive in the Linux game. It is certainly possible to sell proprietary add-ons to Linux, but the base distribution has to be Free Software or your customers look elsewhere. There are very few Linuxers that are interested in building their software on anything but a truly open platform.

I would have guessed that Caldera had already learned that (the hard way), but apparently they need another smack or two with the clue stick.

Because, when all is said and done, the folks that are willing to pay for Linux software and support are much more likely to pay for the most popular distribution. Caldera is never going to be the most popular distribution if they keep these tactics up.

The Linux users that are testing their applications on a "free" version of RedHat are very likely to be the folks that sign up for service and support when their Linux application becomes mission critical. And you can bet they won't be signing up with Caldera.

Re:Nothing New, Really... (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 13 years ago | (#129113)

Many companies have tried this approach with their Unices...

The commercial Unices were typically licensed on a per-user basis, not the per-seat licensing that Caldera are using. Of course, I'm sure Caldera would use per-user licensing if they could. The problem is that anyone could just download and compile a stock kernel, and the user limit enforcement would be gone. Yes, I guess you could play some tricks in userland, but they're equally trivial to circumvent.

ObReminiscing: My Unix experience started with 4.1BSD, which of course had no user limits. When I graduated, and moved to the commercial world, I was completely stunned by SCO's 2 user limit. It seemed to take away half of the point of using Unix in the first place.

Why I don't use proprietary software (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 13 years ago | (#129114)

This is a prime example of the idiocy I wanted to get away from. You know, it's bad enough basing your business on a piece of closed software from someone like IBM or Sun, but at least with them you know that they'll be around for a while.

I'll be damned, however, if I'd trust my company to some non-Free software from a Linux startup. No offense to RedHat (hi, Doug!), but as a whole, that's a pretty flaky business sector.

Please think about this before you mod me down. Seriously, would you like to be the one who recommends a proprietary lock-in to Caldera to the CIO?

I'll stick to the Open stuff, thanks.

Not too surprising, I guess (1)

matty (3385) | more than 13 years ago | (#129115)

And not necessarily altogether bad, either, IMO.

First, readers of LWN.net/daily [lwn.net] will probably have read the response [zdnet.com] to RMS by Ransom Love regarding Caldera's relative Linux contriubutions. From the article:

"To bring it to the point: The only way to make Linux a successful business is to cash in. This is the other side of the medal. In the future, all Linux applications will have a price tag."

I don't necessarily agree with him, but it certainly clarifies his viewpoint.

Also, from another standpoint, per seat licenses make some sense. I don't know if it is illegal to install CLWS3.1 on a computer without a license, but you sure wouldn't be able to get any support from Caldera for it. They're just charging per machine to pay for the eventual support they expect to provide.

Probably won't do much for their general standing in the overall Linux community. But I've never used Caldera (strictly Debian for me, I'm an apt addict :) and most PHB's are certainly not members of the Linux community anyway.

Re:Something to think about... (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#129116)

The question isn't whether you should be able to make money from Linux. Noone has a problem with that. What people have a problem with is using freedom-restricting practices to do so. Just because we find a particular _way_ of making money off of software offensive does not mean that we find all ways offensive. You should really take the time to read the stuff in the Philosophy section of gnu.org.

Re:Not too surprising, I guess (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#129117)

Obviously you can't get support without paying. That's true on any of the Linux platforms. The fact is, Caldera _is_ the parasite RMS makes them out to be. I can't think of a single piece of GPL software they created or heavily funded. If you use software from thousands of programmers without paying them for it, and then refuse to develop even one program that's free, you are a parasite. A legal parasite, yes. But a parasite nontheless.

RedHat has managed to be successful and give back _everything_ they developed (maybe not everything, but I can't think of a single thing offhand).

Re:Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#129118)

No, this is not about paying for things. This is about paying for ideas. A CD is a thing. Software is not a thing. Noone is asking Caldera to provide CDs or boxed sets for free. They are simply asking them not to restrict the user's freedom with the abstract software. To think that "software" in the abstract can be owned is to believe in Plato's "world of ideas" theory. If you believe in it, fine. Just remember that software doesn't classify as a "thing".

Re:Something to think about... (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#129119)

No that is incorrect. One method of paying for software is paying for the distribution of the software. For example, you don't have to make your software downloadable. You only have to allow the people who have purchased it to have their freedoms.

Even if the software is freely downloadable, there is merit in selling CDs. Just because you _can_ download it, doesn't mean that it's free for you to do so. If you have a slow or metered connection, paying for it makes sense. Do you consider tipping Pizza Delivery people a "donation"? I sure don't.

The best method, though, is to contract improvements. For example, if company X wants feature Y in emacs, but doesn't have the ability to do it themselves, they hire you to do it. This is the best way of making money. A lot of people do it, too. In fact, you could say this is where _all_ I.T. money comes from.

Re:What's Wrong with It? (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#129120)

Many people are making money off of Linux. Just not the public companies. Also, most of them don't sell a distribution as their primary product. Most of them are consultants who add extra pieces to whatever software their customers need. They aren't in the spotlight, but these are the real workhorses. The ones who add on to gcc, Ada, HtDig, and all the little projects that make your life just a little easier. If you add in the companies who are writing/improving and releasing free software not as their main business, but just as part of their IT infrastructure, that figure grows a whole lot.

The difference between free software and proprietary software is that they are from totally different sources. Proprietary software says "TAKE WHAT I BUILD" while free software grows wild without any overarching leader. You can't expect them to make money in the same ways.

Re:Blatant Anti-Microsoft Karma-whoring (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#129121)

You do have a freedom to make money. You just don't have the freedom to make money by violating others' freedoms. In the U.S., I have lots of freedoms. But I don't have the freedom to punch other people. Why? Because that violates their freedom.

Making money is not the problem. There are many ways that many people have made money on free software. Violating user freedoms is the problem.

Re:Something to think about... (1)

Zagadka (6641) | more than 13 years ago | (#129133)

It seems the only method of making money the FSF considers acceptable is requesting donations. (That's what it is when people can still use your product without paying.)

Re:Perhaps I Can Answer This... (1)

Mustang (6999) | more than 13 years ago | (#129138)

Amen brother/sister

What's Wrong with It? (1)

dso (9793) | more than 13 years ago | (#129141)

Isn't Linux suppose to be about freedom? You can do anything you want with GPL'd products so long as you give the source back. Let them try, nobody else is making real money on Linux yet. Right now we are running off a crap load of IPO money that will run out and many of the dedicated Linux programmers funded by these companies will be forced to take positions at companies that don't give a rats ass about Linux. Linux is not exempt from the fact that it needs money to grow and prosper.

Re:Is it me.... (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 13 years ago | (#129142)

It is, in fact, just you. "Open" has nothing to do with whether or not you have to pay for it. If you'd RTF literature, you'd know that.

Not that I support this, but if you're going to go off at least get the basics right. I think this particular action flies in the face of Bill Gates and his gang of idiots by showing just what can be done within the confines of the GPL.

Re:Something to think about... (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 13 years ago | (#129145)

The way RedHat is trying to turn a profit by selling subscriptions to its update services and things is acceptable. What Caldera is doing does not seem acceptable.

They need to tie the licenses to some other criterion than the ability to use the software. They could tie it to a support contract and put in a clause that lets them sue for 150% of lost revenue if the person gets support and has more installations than licenses.

Hacking from a Z80 (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 13 years ago | (#129148)

Uh...it's sort of sad to see everyone here getting so fucking bent out of shape because a company wants to impliment per-seat licensing. I don't see how thats one step closer to Microsoft, they charge per fucking user. They're trying to sell their distro to corporate types and they need to make it clear to PHBs how they charge for their product. Charging just for a box with CDs and a manual isn't something PHBs or even accountants are used to with software products. The need a term on the price and also a condition for the price. Charging per seat is Caldera's way of clarifying what they're selling.

bye bye Caldera (2)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 13 years ago | (#129149)

I think this will kill them, especially when people can choose SuSE, debain, RedHat, Slackware, and many other venders that aren't doing that. After all they are not that great a product and they are not in that much demand. Sure they may have a nice installer, but so does Mandrake, and the new Redhat anaconda is pretty nice as well.

What will make someone buy Caldera over some other distro, after they do something like this?

Is there ANY advantage of their version of Linux over lets say Mandrake (or any other)?

I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
Flame away, I have a hose!

Re:News flash! (1)

geekd (14774) | more than 13 years ago | (#129151)

I see your point, but Caldera has a snowball's chance in hell of increasing thier miniscule market share by charging more money when there are more popular ("better" is too subjective) alternatives available for free.

Re:bye bye Caldera (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 13 years ago | (#129152)

Is there ANY advantage of their version of Linux over lets say Mandrake (or any other)?

When I first tried "Caldera Open Desktop" in '96, the answer was a resounding Yes, because it let me use the Netware server. Now that NCP has apparently been RE'd and there are other (free) clients, there doesn't seem to be much reason, which is probably why I haven't used Caldera in a long time.


---

The market will decide... (2)

sterno (16320) | more than 13 years ago | (#129158)

Ultimately this, like most other business things will get worked out by the marketplace. Would a company pay a per-seat license to install Caldera or would they prefer to pay for a support contract with RedHat and not worry about how many seats they have installed? What kind of support comes with that per-seat license?

There's nothing wrong with them doing this at an ethical level. I mean as long as they follow the terms of the various licenses then it should be kosher. The only problem I see is that I can't imagine people paying per-seat unless it ends up being substantially cheaper than similar offerings from other companies who have simpler licensing schemes.

---

Re:Is it me.... (1)

Smallest (26153) | more than 13 years ago | (#129168)

Can I take the Linux Kernel, put it on a cd and charge per seat...?

YES

-c

What?! (1)

TheLurker (32233) | more than 13 years ago | (#129170)

Guess i'll just have to use a different distribution... oh wait.. I already DO use a different distribution...

Seriously though.. IS there anyone who uses Caldera Linux?

Re:bye bye Caldera (1)

Medieval (41719) | more than 13 years ago | (#129196)

Specifically, NDS. See, you take your enterprise and roll it out with Windows 2000 running on Novell Directory Services instead of MS Active Directory, then you can slam Caldera Linux boxes down on the network and they'll talk the same extensible, fast directory that your Win2k infrastructure does. Anyone who has ever managed an enterprise network with NDS knows what a beautiful thing it is.

comes up with a way? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#129198)

Pray tell, what is so unique and amazing about selling proprietory software?

Per-seat for CALDERA? (2)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 13 years ago | (#129199)

Raise your hands if you use Caldera as your desktop. Yeah... thought so.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, I even said it in Random's conference room in Utah:

Caldera is run by fucking idiots.


- - - - -

Re:Something to think about... (5)

yellowstone (62484) | more than 13 years ago | (#129201)

It seems the only method of making money the FSF considers acceptable is requesting donations.
Well, why not? It works for pbs...
[root@localhost]# gcc my-31337-code.c
Wow, that's a really great compile! We'll be right back for the assembler and linker, but first, wouldn't you like to make a donation to the FSF (Y/n)?

--

Re:So... (2)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#129202)

I love how idiot trolls on /. assume that everyone else has exactly the same opinion, and then criticize the Slashdot "collective" for disagreeing with itself.

(The parent poster doesn't understand the GPL, incidentally.)
--

Re:So what? (2)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#129203)

Well, first of all, _nobody_ drives anybody to purchase Caldera's flavour of Linux. People buy it because it comes with the best support, best installation, best choice of packages or w h a t e v e r.

Actually, based on my own experience with Caldera as my first Linux distro, people buy it because it comes with none of the above and they don't know any better.
--

Re:Doesn't Linux have a difficult enough future... (2)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#129204)

Can anyone comment on Caldera's returns to the community?

Yes. There aren't any.

Whenever they develop something for Linux, they keep it to themselves. How could they convince people to buy their distro if it didn't come with Proprietary Fubarmatic 2.0?
--

Re:Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (3)

PurpleBob (63566) | more than 13 years ago | (#129205)

No, but asking people to pay for the low-quality proprietary crapware that Caldera shovels into their distro (just to make you think there's some benefit to buying the non-free version from them) is.

One of the main selling points of Caldera 2.2 was that it came with PartitionMagic. I was new to Linux, and I fell for it, not realizing that RedHat already had a partitioning tool then. And it turned out to be a really cut-down "PartitionMagic Lite" which had very little in common with PartitionMagic except the logo, and would do nothing but create a Linux partition of one of three specified sizes, and faced with my hard disk which already had 3 Windows partitions, it even failed at that.

Oh yeah, it also came with the proprietary WordPerfect 8, but that was free for download anyway. And it had this amazing "Caldera Open Administration System" which was kind of like linuxconf, except it didn't work, and wouldn't tell you what it was attempting to do.
--

Re:Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (1)

ryarger (69279) | more than 13 years ago | (#129208)

Certainly not.

However, asking people to pay multiple times for things that do not cost you to reproduce most certainly is.

Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (2)

ryarger (69279) | more than 13 years ago | (#129209)

The article says that OpenLinux Workstation contains "proprietary" material. From what I've seen, it's nothing that adds any true value to the system.

Therefore, now that Caldera has made anti-consumer policies their official stance, I would recommend just getting it from linuxiso.org or better yet, get Debian (with a support contract from Progeny if needed), instead.

Re:Something to think about... (2)

scoove (71173) | more than 13 years ago | (#129212)

Technically, RedHat is making money from Linux, and they're not charging per-seat on the software.

No fence sitting there...

*scoove*

Doesn't Linux have a difficult enough future.... (1)

jason_z28 (73458) | more than 13 years ago | (#129214)

in the workstation area? We all know it works very well in the server market. But it has not made much of a dent in the client/workstation market. Is charging for it really the way to go?
Jason

Re:Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (2)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 13 years ago | (#129215)

asking people to pay for things is "anti-consumer"?

Re:Everybody, chill (2)

j-beda (85386) | more than 13 years ago | (#129218)

The GPL (if you'd read it before commenting like you understand it) states that source code to GPL'd apps must be made available to any who want it

Actually, it says that it must be provided for no additional or only nominal charge to people to whom the binaries are provided. It sets no limit on charges for the binaries and sets no requirement that it be provided to non-customers.

If you want to charge $9999999 for your linux distribution, you can. You need not provide sources to anyone but your customers.

Granted, however, that since your customers can redistribute it once they have it, that might not be a good business model. However if you can make just one sale, maybe that would be enough...

Re:Something to think about... (2)

krmt (91422) | more than 13 years ago | (#129225)

It doesn't matter that they're trying to turn a profit. What does matter is that they're doing it in about as foolish a way possible (short of selling subscriptions a la MS). If they're trying to turn profit, alienating your core constituency is not the way to do it! It's simple marketing, and Caldera seems to have forgotten it.

They also seem to have forgotten the fact that they have a bunch of major competitors, most notably Redhat, Mandrake, and SuSE, who would probably love to soak up Caldera's share of the Linux market, both present and future. These competitors are not requiring site by site licenses for their products which are, for all intents and purposes, the exact same product as Caldera's. This is a lot like charging more for the store brand, which is suicide.

If Caldera wants to turn a profit they should really rethink this move and try and take a cue from Redhat. Brand some stuff like a database as your own. Don't restrict your core products, but provide services like the Redhat network. Help the community (Caldera already does this with Webmin) and don't try and alienate the people who are your best friends.

"I may not have morals, but I have standards."

But the question is... (2)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 13 years ago | (#129232)

..does doing this violate whatever licenses the Open Source software their distro is based on?

The primary benefit of the GNU General Public License [fsf.org] is that consumers of software have no distribution restrictions that prevent them from sharing software. I point particularly to
4.
You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.
Now the question is whether their distro being merely a conglomeration of proprietary and Open Source software is immune from the above requirement of the GPL or whether they must specifically exclude GPL-based portions of their distro from their per-seat license. Interesting indeed.

--

This looks ok... (2)

nels_tomlinson (106413) | more than 13 years ago | (#129233)

After a quick skim, it appears that the entire distribution is covered. Of course, they can't keep anyone from redistributing the GPL'ed portions, and I don't think they're trying. They point out that they have some proprietary stuff, and some other non-GPL'ed stuff:


Although OpenLinux Workstation contains the Linux kernel and a variety of open source software, there are a wide variety of licenses, each with different distribution restrictions Additionally, Caldera includes some of its own proprietary software as well as other Copyrighted material." (Quoted from this [linuxtoday.com] on LinuxToday)


So what's it all mean? This shows pretty conclusively that you can indeed build a proprietary product on top of Linux. If they've done it right, they'll show that you can do it without getting tripped up the the GPL. Nyah nyah MS. Whether they can sell it is another question. I wish them luck.

I think that MS has pretty well made a fool of its collective self with the GPL=cancer nonsense. This kind of thing can only help point up the essential absurdity of that position.

Other's going somewhere else (2)

no-body (127863) | more than 13 years ago | (#129238)

HP dropped it's per seat licensing for HP-UX (16/32/64.. user licenses). I am sure they are doing it to make money, not to avoid it, where Caldera seems to head with this.

Unless.. the other distributions follow suit or Caldera has some jewels hidden in their distribution. Does anyone know about it? Is there an office software package equivalent to M$oft's products?

This multi seat is where the scam starts.

I think it violates the spirit of OSF, software reusability and all.They should suffer for doing that!

How much more effort does it take to allow more user per system? NONE! So, why charge for it?

When NT came out on some Comdex, they had two "Systems" - server and client. I thought: utter bull! Multi tasking = multi user, the OS is the same, just scam the world into thinking they are different and charge...

Unix was created to do a job, NT was created to make money!

So... (1)

lowe0 (136140) | more than 13 years ago | (#129242)

I love how /. insists that the GPL has tainted Caldera, but that MS is lying when they say that the GPL taints codebases.

Make up your mind...

synchronicity... (4)

big.ears (136789) | more than 13 years ago | (#129244)

Does anyone else find it amusingly coincidental, perhaps even ironic, that this Microsoft-inspired license is debuting in version 3.1?

(Depending upon how you look at it, Windows 3.1 was either the end of DOS or the beginning of universal GUI for intel-platform computers. Either way, it was a true milestone in computer history.)

Re:Is it me.... (2)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 13 years ago | (#129245)

On the subject of "Is it me..."

Is it me or does the Caldera logo look confusingly similar to Disney's?

To directly address your question, GPL states anyone is free to charge for the cost of distribution, or providing support or guarantees. Oh, I guess it is obvious to me now...IBHT

Get a grip, read the GPL, etc. (3)

Laplace (143876) | more than 13 years ago | (#129249)

It seems like there is a lot of misunderstanding about what Caldera is doing, what they want to acomplish, and if what they are doing is even allowed by the GPL. I'll touch on every one of those issues.

1) They want to charge liscensing fees for their software. They are putting a whole bunch of code they they developed onto a CD and selling it under some sort of single desktop license. Good for them. Why?

2) They want to make money. One way to make money off of software is by selling licenses. Nearly every player in the software world does this. There is nothing wrong with it. If you don't want to buy it then don't buy it. There is no need to get your panties in a twirl. But you say. . .

3) What about the GPL? Well, what about it? Nothing Caldera is doing violates the GPL (at least, I can't prove it). Is their proprietary stuff derivatie of GPL work? Probably not. Are they restricting your freedoms as guaranteed by the GPL? On GPL'd software, probably not. Remember, they only need to make the source available for you, as well as any changes they have made to it. If they do that, they have lived up to their end of the bargain. You can take the source off their CD, repackage it, roll around in printouts of it naked, so on and so forth.

This certainly isn't new. Take a look at the SuSE license. You can make copies of SuSE's proprietary code and give it to all of your friends. The moment you try to sell copied ISO's, SuSE legal will come down on you like the hammer of god (ok, maybe not that hard). They are out there to make money. They produce value added software and sell it (along with service). It's common, and not anything to get excited about.

The great thing about the I86 computing world is that you have a choice. You can choose Red Hat, Debian, Caldera, FreeBSD, Windows 2000. . .anything that you want! If you like Caldera (I tried it, didn't like it), good for you. Use it. If you don't like their politics, good for you. Don't use it.

Re:Has anyone seen teh license? (1)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 13 years ago | (#129254)

..Isn't the GPL supposed to 'infect' anything it touches?

Has Caldera been vaccinated?

COLA (3)

PopeAlien (164869) | more than 13 years ago | (#129255)

Caldera expects each customer to have a COLA for each system that deploys OpenLinux Workstation.

..but I just want water..

Re:bye bye Caldera (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#129256)

I agree with you %100 when I worked on a Novell based network I *loved* NDS. It is a great product. I don't know so much about putting it on Windows 2000. I would rather have it on some form of Unix (http://www.novell.com/documentation/lg/ndsedir/do cui/index.html#../taoenu/data/a7f7od5.html) but to do it right you do need Caldera.

Re:bye bye Caldera (2)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#129257)

Integration with Novell products. If you need tight full intergration that works with something made by Novell they are the people to talk to.

Re:Has anyone seen teh license? (3)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#129258)

No the hang up there was not the hangup with Debian is that Debian does not put "non-free" software in main and the KDE people did not want to put it in non-free. It is fine to distribute GPLed and non-free software together just fine.
The main chunk of "proprietary" software that they are talking about here is the code to make it work well with Novell and a couple of admin tools and some stuff they got when they bought SCO. None of which has any real analog that is GPLed. So no that is not the problem.
So it is natural that Ransom would do this and udner the terms seems legal as well. BTW I go to a LUG with most of the Caldera developers and not one of them agree with this. But it is about the only Linux job in town. :(

Has anyone seen teh license? (2)

the-banker (169258) | more than 13 years ago | (#129259)

Has anyone gandered at the new license? My first question is whether it attempts to prevent you from distributing *parts* of the distribution or just the distribution as a whole.

This is going to get messy. Two observations.

1.) Wasn't distribution of KDE (QT license) with GPL licensed software the big hang-up with Debian? IIRC, it was the fact they were packaged and distributed together that caused issues with the GPL. So doesn't the same hold true for Caldera's 'proprietary software'?

2.) How can a company that has developed Free Software for years _not_ let GPL'd code influence the development of their 'proprietary' software?

We all knew Ransom never _really_ cared about the community - but this is over the top.

Licensing charges reflect peoples' changes. (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 13 years ago | (#129260)

To add a new meta-discussion, it's kind of interesting to see some of the "people see comfort in buying licenses" posts. Here we have something nebulous such as bits on a CD, and it wasn't that long ago (maybe 20, 30 years, small in the history of financial transactions) that software was a given and hardware was the only thing worth paying for. Anyone think of the debates that raged when Microsoft actually had the temerity to sell software instead of giving it away? Now we're come somewhat full circle to where people are more comfortable paying.

I'm not saying people shouldn't pay. I'm a programmer myself and it's how I pay my rent. Other folks get money for what is essentially information (authors, musicians, designers of most any kind) and nothing concrete (how is Mozarts music score any more or less concrete than a couple zeros and ones on a CD). It's just we've seen the change from paying for hardware, to paying for software where hardware (in the PC world) is a nearly interchangeable commodity, to soon paying for services. Just struck me for some reason.

Something to think about... (5)

The Gline (173269) | more than 13 years ago | (#129261)

The open-source community typically shies away from any really serious, challenging discussion of turning a profit from products like Linux.

Let's face it: people do not run a company [like, oh, RedHat or Caldera] because they are philanthropists. They do it because they want to make money.

So someone comes up with a way to do that, and suddenly people are squirming. I'm not objecting to the licensing per se, but rather to the "Gee... I dunno" reaction.

Either you can make money from Linux or you can't, but enough fence-sitting.

This may be a *good* thing (2)

ortholattice (175065) | more than 13 years ago | (#129262)

Ironically, this might help to sell Linux to corporate types who don't trust something that's free and want the perception that they're buying a supported product. This would be a good thing for the Linux community, if it means increased market share. The rest of us will always be able to get other distributions Linux free and unshackled.

I mean, would they really be using MS software if it was free?

You're not being locked in (2)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 13 years ago | (#129263)

This is not about making closed software; the software will still be available for download (GPL requires this). What they are doing is requiring every system running it to be licensed. It is still opensource, it is still GPL'd.

What they've done is, prevent you from downloading or purchasing a single copy and running it on all your systems in your organization. You still have the source code, you just can't copy and run it on all the systems you want without paying Caldera.

Whether or not this *is* a smart thing to do... well I guess we'll let f*uckedcompany.com decide. It tends to go against the philosophy that grew Linux over the years: download, try it out, give it to a friend, repeat. One of the things that has allowed Linux to grow (above all of the ultristic GPL stuff) is that fact that it has been free (cost wise or beer) to use and share.

Re:Blatant Anti-Microsoft Karma-whoring (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#129264)

newsflash:

point taken. The slashdot community dispises people that make money. I thought linux was about "Freedom"? What about MY freedom to make money?


or is freedom defined as: what's good for the better of the community as a whole.

Sigh (1)

Ethanol (176321) | more than 13 years ago | (#129266)

I don't suppose it would do any good to point out that this is per-system licensing, not per-seat... nor that licenses don't have to cost money, and in fact, SCO has been giving away free licenses to their UNIX products for noncommercial use for years and years.

WOW!! (1)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 13 years ago | (#129267)

That's a great feature! I wish that I could get a Certificate of License Authenticity for my Debian workstation. I would also like to be able to use Postgresql for only $199/Month.

Re:Is it me.... (1)

giantsquidmarks (179758) | more than 13 years ago | (#129268)

hmmm... questions...

Can they charge for the Kernel and all the GNU stuff...? Can I take the Linux Kernel, put it on a cd and charge per seat...?

If not, does that mean all you have to do to avoid paying is install Caldera Linux on one workstation, delete all the Caldera crap, and then clone the workstation over the network?

Or better yet... just use Slackware...

So? (1)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 13 years ago | (#129273)

Honestly, I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

Unless you're the kind who likes to pay for water [evian.com] , just use one [redhat.com] of [linux-mandrake.com] the [debian.org] many [suse.com] other [corel.com] Linux [kernel.org] distributions [turbolinux.com] out there that don't have such odious licensing terms. It's not like there aren't any alternatives [linux.org] out there.

Or, better, you can use something with no restrictions at all [openbsd.org] on how you use it.

If Caldera wants to shoot themselves in the foot, who are we to stop them?

b&

Re:Doesn't Linux have a difficult enough future... (2)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 13 years ago | (#129274)

Yes, charging for it is a great idea. This allows someone to fund development of more GPL software. Personally I'm a big fan of the way Yellow Dog did this, selling CDs for a while before posting the ISOs for anon FTP.

Is charging a per seat license a good idea? Not at all. Especially not when the bulk of the distribution consists of GPL and GPL-compatible software. That's likely to leave a sour taste in a lot of mouths. It seems to me that a lot of people do consider the free speech aspects of Free Software to be an important piece of why they use Linux.

FWIW I think even at $100 for OpenLinux + support they aren't going to rake it in. Their decision to move to per seat licensing is not likely to win them many fans. Especially if they're making money, but only using it to develop more proprietary pieces to put on top of Linux. Can anyone comment on Caldera's returns to the community? And for those zealots among us, there's always Debian main.

Re:Has anyone seen teh license? (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 13 years ago | (#129275)

Truth is they will try to pull it off, as long
as possible. They can sell support for each work
station, so your users will call their helpdesk
instead of having fulltime help person in the
place. One person can be fixing everything and
for 10.000 a year you can support facility of...
oh 1000 machines. Now that would require a few
staff and that would be at least 40K each. I don't
see how they can stop copying of stuff, but
I see if they visit facility hand dozen disks,
and do round sum for the support of entire building.
However SuSE does already sells only packaged
CDs and never distributes .iso files, on the net.
They sprinkle few packages in that are commercial
and so you will be locked into not copying isos
because that would violate licence of commercial
bits spread thru cds. You will have to rebuild
iso, after removing commercial bits, but I wonder
if installer would operate properly.
Thats why I use mandrake, for simplicity, and
relative superriority to most RH distros(didn't
try7.1 yet) but if there was a call for corporate
linux, i would say Mandrake because it is very
simple and very linuxish - complies to most
standarts, comes with all software that you can
sanely run on your system.

Anyway back to beginning, if caldera does
predatory business practices, ala MS, ala any
old fashioned business, good for them. It just as
easy to install new distro if you partitioned
your drive well - /usr /opt /var /home /tmp ?
What I really suspect, is that ./ crew putting
their spin on things. Company makes money @ linux,
good. They are bunch of bastards, well, we use
the net make it public, and no one buys shit from
them because they are slimeballs. There has not
been a hard proof of that, beside the fact that
their distro sucks, fitted with all sorts of
propietary gizmos.

2c

How can you beat "free"? (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#129277)

Let me just say that as a newbie, struggling to implement any of the distros I can obtain for "free" (RedHat, Mandrake) there is no way on God's earth I'd deploy Caldera unless it offered substantial benefits in usability.

Does it? I just thought it was "just another distribution".

Better than windows (2)

iseletsk (204040) | more than 13 years ago | (#129280)

Well, if they can make money that way, and provide a good alternative to the windows in the long run. Hell with it, I will even pay for it.

Re:Something to think about... (1)

marcovje (205102) | more than 13 years ago | (#129281)

Which is perfectly normal. However NOT over the backs of hobby programmers. At least Microsoft applies its horrible licenses to stuff it actually owns.

So what? (2)

friday2k (205692) | more than 13 years ago | (#129282)

Well, first of all, _nobody_ drives anybody to purchase Caldera's flavour of Linux. People buy it because it comes with the best support, best installation, best choice of packages or w h a t e v e r. You want to have it free, go ahead and build your own. But now that you like Caldera you go and _pay_ them for the work they have been putting in it. And if they chose to change their license model to per-seat licenses it is there decision. You do not like it, you go away. All people go away, then either Caldera goes away or they will change their business model. The people at Caldera want to pay their bills, send their children to college, buy a house or just go out and drink themselves silly because they need to relax from all the hate-mail they are getting. Give them a break!
Just my $.02

likewise... (1)

Derwen (219179) | more than 13 years ago | (#129286)

> What if you stand up?

And should we take their action lieing down... ;-)
- Derwen

Caldera: think about that. (1)

joestar (225875) | more than 13 years ago | (#129287)

1/ (http://lwn.net/2001/0621/dists.php3)

Linux-Mandrake News. Between these two new features and Mandrake Forum, the availability of information on Linux-Mandrake is starting to rival that of volunteer distributions like Debian, where almost all information is available on-line. It is a model we strongly encourage for all distributions or development projects, since such a news source can do a lot to bind a community together, as well as providing a valuable historic resource.

(...)

Caldera News. This past week, some members of the caldera-users mailing list began to speak openly of moving to alternate distributions, due to frustration with Caldera and the lack of recent releases. No specific links are provided, since members of such a list should have the right to vent a bit without becoming a media focus. Nonetheless, if Caldera is still interested in having a user community, we certainly hope they are reading their own mailing lists. These people liked OpenLinux and don't want to leave it, but felt they are reaching a point where they have no choice.

2/ (http://www.linux-mandrake.com/en/fnews.php3)

May 22, 2001 - New US Linux market figures - LinuxGram has released the retail market shares for the USA during the first 2001 Quarter (Source: LinuxGram Newsletter/PC Data). (...)

  • Mandrake - 33.8%
    (...)
  • Caldera - 2.5%

They made a mistake (2)

eclectro (227083) | more than 13 years ago | (#129288)

When I installed linux last year I tried corel, SUSE, redhat, mandrake, and Caldera. The install was great and the tech support was the BEST bar none. It lived up to its advertisement. I think the price you pay is well worth it. That being said, they blew it here.

The problem is that they're bundling commercial apps with the distro. There is nothing wrong with that, but it's how they are presenting it and how it comes accross. They should have their free "bare bones" linux disc, and a "professional edition" like what mandrake does. That way it is more clear about what is commercial and what is not. As it stands, they deserve the flames that they are about to receive.

Re:Something to think about... (3)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 13 years ago | (#129296)

The open-source community typically shies away from any really serious, challenging discussion of turning a profit from products like Linux.

Hmmm. No. I disagree. The open source community shies away from discussing making a profit on licensing Linux. There is a world of difference.

Red Hat, SuSE, and most of the other Linux distributors are trying to make money, but the very nature of Linux prevents one from making money off the licensing of the software-- anyone can undersell. In this way, Linux approaches perfect competition in the market place but that does not bode well for the developers themselves.

Instead, these companies are usually at their core consulting companies. They offer their distributions as a means of ensuring quality of service and efficiency in their consulting services. This is the fundamental role of the Linux distributions in most of these companies' business models.

Caldera has allways approached this industry as if it were a proprietary software industry, so they have always oversold their competitors, bundled it with proprietary system software like X servers, etc. in order to try to prevent further distribution of their software... I wonder if they will ever get it.

what's next (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 13 years ago | (#129300)

CD /usr/src/ Caldera OS panic: ILLEGAL OPERATION, we'll see you in court >>:-]

----------
www.shockthemonkey.org [shockthemonkey.org]

So support the OTHER distros! (1)

baptiste (256004) | more than 13 years ago | (#129302)

You can't blame Caldera for trying - but you can hate them for being parasites and they are. RedHat and many other distro companies have put in massive amounts of effort to improve Linux. Both from a coding standpoint to developing automated ways to install the software. Caldera has done ... what?

So we have a right to be angry with them for charging when they are violating the spirit of Open Source in that they aren't giving back. But don't waste your energy - instead support your favorite distro that DOES support Linux and the community. Instead of downloading that favorite distro - buy it. Tell your boss you need to buy RedHat/Debian/whatever version X.Y to experiement with it before deployment and buy the box set. If he balks remind him that you're deploying 20 servers and you only want one license (the deluxe or course) to get he Manuals, etc, etc. Spend your companies money and support Open Source at the same time! If your company is ready to take a leap with Linux and doesn't have the support staff in house - buy a support contract if you can.

Lets be realistic. Linux would not be where it is today without the influx of capital and resources from various distro companies. For things to CONTINUE to improve, we've got to support the distros we like with MONEY.

Be honest - for those of you who love PostgreSQL, once it became clear RedHat planned to move it forward and apprently return the improvements (ie no forking) you can't deny you were a little excited. I know I was. It just means there will be MORE help for the product AND it'll gain teh acceptance it deserves. And if you convince your company that PostgreSQL is the way to go, buy some support for RHDB if you can afford it and it doesn't throw your case for PostgreSQL in a loop. Lord knows the prices ORacle and IBM charge and even Microsoft will make it easy enough to buy a littel support from RedHat even if you can support it better yourself. Besides, IT managers want to know the vendor will be available right away to fix a problem with teh mission critical DB - well if you go with RHDB, they'll probably spring for the support contract and I assure you it'll be cheaper than whats out there today meaning it'll still be an easy sell.

So yes, it bites Caldera is making money of the backs of everyone else without contributing anything, but that's the nature of the beast. We just live with it and support the companies WE want to survive the best we can. Remember, deploying Linux in your business or personally can be done for free, but to help assure continued development at today's breathtaking rate, we have to throw some cash the dsitro way - otherwise it MAY blow up in our face and thigns will slow down to where Micro$oft pulls away. Shudder the thought.

You seem to be leaning toward Linux=cancer... (5)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 13 years ago | (#129307)

Call this flamebait if you wish but read the whole point FIRST please

I guess theoretically they can do it, although it sure feels wrong somehow

Call me to task if I'm wrong, but when you take the viewpoint that it is wrong for a company to do EXACTLY what is permitted under an "open" license, you are stepping very close to the "It has been EXPOSED, it is now infected with open code" viewpoint that Ballmer suggested.

BTW, I believe that BOTH Taco and Ballmer are wrong, but their motives for WHY are different.

Re:What if you stand up? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#129310)

The moderators have been awfully anal the past couple of days.

--Blair

Is it me.... (1)

Guib607 (308188) | more than 13 years ago | (#129313)

Is it me, or if Caldera is still going to call it "OpenLinux" that the license should then still be free, or does that go against the GPL, to require that something have a seperate licensing agreement then the GPL (which virtually all Linux software is distributed under)?

IF IT'S OPEN, WHY ARE WE GETTING CHARGED FOR A LICENCE? Has Caldera spent too much time in Redmond?

Re:Is it me.... (1)

Rytsarsky (319094) | more than 13 years ago | (#129314)

The linux kernel is, by definition, GPLed. Once, I have it, I can do anything with it. If I wanted to, I could add something to it, and charge $1,000 per copy. but once someone else got a hold of it, they have those same rights, and can distribute it for free. It sounds like caldara is using as little GPL software as they can and still be able to call it Linux. That means there probably won't be source code, which entirely removes any freedom you have with GNU. I'll have no part of that!

Well, it's up to them, and the users. (2)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 13 years ago | (#129316)

It's a fact they've got a right to do it. The question is will the users accept it? It's rather difficult to sell something undifferenciated, when somebody else is giving it away.

And that's precisely what worries me. The fact of them charging a license, althoug it does feel somewhat wrong, it's nothing. I'm worried about they forking away, releasing some kind of application that will work only on their system (because of the various "extensions" and "improvemements"). If some app has some widespread appeal, that could mean trouble.

The problem is, the people are used to pay for a license. Still are. And they feel almost uncomfortable if you ask for none, for crying out loud! They feel safe if they pay for the software, as if they think that a license is a support contract. That the provider will support them because they have paid for the program, or something. It's going to take a while changing those mentalities, and this kind of actions add to the confusion.

An at least initially successful forking could lead to others, things are a little bit tight now. I'm old enough to remember seeing Unix die (don't tell me it's not dead, you know what I mean), and the awful feeling that came with it. Take some Unix magazine of those times. They were as sure of victory as we are now with Linux. After all we had a much better product! Only a little tiny bit of unity and some common standards were lacking. All was lost in a sea of pettiness, uncompatibilities, and stupid bickering. I do not fear the same destiny. I do not know exactly what I fear, but I sure don't like this movement at Caldera. I expect they will be doing audits soon.

--

What if you stand up? (2)

The Angry Clam (442606) | more than 13 years ago | (#129319)

Sorry, I couldn't resist the question. Feel free to kick me down to -1

Re:Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (1)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 13 years ago | (#129321)

Asking people to pay for things they already have the right to use is anti-consumer. For instance, suppose that Virgin records decided that you needed a copy of their CD for each player you play it on.

good move (1)

FireChipmunk (447917) | more than 13 years ago | (#129324)

hey it makes total sense if you want to turn a profit.

Big companies/orgs won't even care if its $100 (or more) a seat, as long as its a quality product that works.

For example,.my school is buying CAD software at $1000 a seat, for a 30 Computer Lab. They are also putting on 3d Studio max on all of these computers too. Money is not the problem for em, its getting it up, running, in as little time as possible.

As far as I can see its a smart move that RedHat will prolly copy pretty soon. I think it also implies that Caldera will need to provide better support if you are paying per seat.

SCO (1)

Dutchie (450420) | more than 13 years ago | (#129327)

hey, echo "This is SCO Unix (but not really) Have you paid your per seat license" > /etc/motd

I'm sure if they just trick their SCO customers into believing they're still using SCO, they could pull that off. bah.

  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Not a parasite? (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129332)

In related news, Caldera CEO Ransom Love denied charges of being a greedy capitalist and parasite [yahoo.com] , as RMS described him. Personally I'd add "fool". They just pissed away whatever goodwill they still had with the free software community. This is not where we want to go today, or any day.

Re:Is it me.... (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129333)

I think this particular action flies in the face of Bill Gates and his gang of idiots by showing just what can be done within the confines of the GPL.

Good point! It's sickening, but it certainly gives the lie to Microsoft's FUD campaign.

Re:Foot, meet bullet; bullet, meet foot (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129334)

asking people to pay for things is "anti-consumer"?

No. Asking people to give value for value is not anti-consumer. Bundling proprietary junk with free software so that you can charge for the package on a per-system basis is. The one bright spot is that only very stupid consumers will suffer.

Re:Not a parasite? (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129335)

Aw damn, some other guy posted the same stuff two minutes before I did. Instant karma loss :(

Re:I know how I feel... (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129336)

...there are days when I'm tempted to design a license that is similar to the GPL but forbids bundling with licensing schemes like Caldera's...

Don't waste your time. It's completely unnecessary. It's practically inconceivable that anyone will add enough value with their proprietary additions to make up for the loss of goodwill. The only people who will use such monsters are those whose PHB's force them to.

Re:You seem to be leaning toward Linux=cancer... (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129337)

Ballmer and company are FUDding pointy-haired bosses to slow down adoption of free software in the business market. They're implying there are legal impediments to using GPLed software. The outcry we're seeing here is not over legal issues. It's over moral ones.

Caldera is complying with the letter of the GPL, and completely violating its spirit. They can't be sued, as Microsoft would like you to believe, but they sure as hell lost a lot of standing in the community. They've completely vindicated RMS's opinion of them.

Re:What if you stand up? (1)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129338)

Then Caldera will ask you to bend over.

Re:Something to think about... (3)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129342)

The open-source community typically shies away from any really serious, challenging discussion of turning a profit from products like Linux.

How many hackers do you know who have the slightest interest in business? Certainly Linus didn't. He didn't GPL Linux because he thought it would make a great commercial product. Nor did he do it out of philanthropy. He did it because he thought it was cool and wanted to share it with other people.

I think a lot of hackers would agree with me when I say that I don't give a rat's ass if anyone makes a cent from Linux. It's not a product, and I don't need anyone to sell it to me.

They do it because they want to make money.

How much money do you think Caldera will make this way? Offhand I'd guess it will put them in Chapter 11 within six months. They forgot a little, basic rule of marketing: do not piss off your customers unless you have a monopoly. Microsoft can get away with this kind of thing because only they can sell Windows. Caldera has lots of competitors, and it just did them a big favor.

Re:Something to think about... (4)

return 42 (459012) | more than 13 years ago | (#129343)

...they have a bunch of major competitors, most notably Redhat, Mandrake, and SuSE, who would probably love to soak up Caldera's share of the Linux market...

At Red Hat HQ:

Salesman: Hey Bob! We did it! We got Caldera's entire market share!

Bob Young: We did? That's great!

Salesman: Yep! All five of them!

This will be a GOOD thing for Caldera (1)

Lemur catta (459575) | more than 13 years ago | (#129344)

I'm sure the GNU zealots will start crying foul, but here's my take on it. Hear me out.

First of all, this is well within Caldera's right. Sure, they can't limit the distribution of the Free code in their distro, but they can charge for the value-added "total package" just as RedHat does. Only difference is, with RedHat you pay for the box, manuals, and support, but with Caldera you pay for the right to run the installer once :) I'll leave that to the GPL-nitpickers to figure out.

Secondly, I'll avoid making comments on the quality of Caldera's distros. I'm sure pleanty of other posters will do that for me. :)

But on to my point: Caldera's distros are aimed squarely at the business market. Businesses think in terms of business relationships. Businesses, in general, make their money by providing some value to customers in exchange for money. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for a businesses to comprehend that something can have value and yet and be free (as in beer).

If they're paying $50 a seat, however, they feel like they're entering into a business relationship with Caldera. Once money changes hands, there is the comforting feeling of mutual support. They are paying for the value that Caldera (presumably) provides. This is something that a business can comprehend.

IT departments are so accustomed to paying licencing fees that the concept that software can be had without them is utterly alien. Placing a per-seat licence paradoxically lends credibilty to Caldera in the IT manager's eyes.

Or maybe I'm wrong, and Caldera just shot themselves in the foot with both barrels.

(Consider also that Caldera has inherited SCO's user base, who are already painfully accustomed to paying per-user licences for OpenServer and UnixWare. Priced reasonably, this is still a major bargain and good incentive for SCO users to migrate to Linux.)

Blatant Anti-Microsoft Karma-whoring (2)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 13 years ago | (#129348)

News flash 3: So is extortion, blackmail, forgery, and contract killing.

Doesn't make them right.

No, it makes them Microsoft! (Ok so we haven't been able to pin the contract killing on them... YET.)

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