On 09/20/2016 11:53 AM, Jack J. Woehr wrote:
> Jesse 1 Robinson wrote:
> ...
>>   It takes only one software-piracy lawsuit to devour far more than
>> our own contribution to the bottom line. We have to live by rules
>> that may or may not be intended to protect us. The penalty for
>> violating corporate policy can be severe in the extreme.
> Using without altering or redistributing open source licensed under
> standard licenses (GNU/BSD-2/Apache/IBM Common, etc) is never software
> piracy.
> Downloading a compiled "free" piece of software from random vendors is
> legally dicey. Installing an RPM on z/Linux is not at all dicey.
> ...
Unfortunately in a large corporate environment you may have a large
number of users with access to workstations who are not sophisticated
enough to understand software licensing distinctions.   A blanket
restriction on user installation of any additional software on a
workstation or of running software from any unapproved external media is
a policy that has some hope of being communicated to such users and
possibly even enforced.  If you open up the flexibility to do otherwise,
how do you explain to such users that just because they can freely
download or install some software that they use at home and it runs OK
at work without complaining, that this doesn't necessarily mean it's

I have seen a lot of software out there that is free for personal home
use but requires a paid license to be legal in a business environment.  
There also used to be some personal software licenses that explicitly
granted the user the right to use the same software on both his home and
business workstations; but how is the company, if asked, able to prove
in such cases that the software usage is legit and covered by a license
in home-possession of a user acting within the scope of his personal
license? And what if by some oversight that software fails to get
deleted from the office workstation when that user leaves the company
and takes his license with him?

I suspect the Linux case may not be 100% clear either.  I don't know of
any specific cases with zLinux, but can one for certain rule out the
possibility that one might install without restriction an RPM that adds
a software repository, but that some RPMs within that repository might
in fact be use-restricted in some way?  I'm pretty sure that in the case
of Fedora Linux there are some packages that have migrated out of the
main Fedora repositories over the years into other repositories
precisely because of licensing issues; yet adding those other
repositories without concern for those distinctions is a common accepted
practice for many users.  And, when installing packages from a
collection of repositories, how carefully does one even note which
repository is the source?
    Joel C. Ewing, Bentonville, AR

Joel C. Ewing,    Bentonville, AR       jcew...@acm.org 

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