Restriction on distribution by Novell?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Tue Sep 26 12:47:48 UTC 2006

Using the Novell's distribution services for updates (i.e. direct connections to Novell's servers) may be restricted to a few registered computers/users, but I don't think that redistribution can be limited. So, downloaded updates can't be restricted.

It would be smarter to include the full paragraph 5 to see what it applies to, notably because the GPL clearly states that redistribution is ALWAYS permitted, and accesses to the sources must be given to all users by the redistributors (so the redistribution right of sources must be granted by the redistributor, who must then be able to include the sources as well as the binary updates in its redistribution).

I don't think however that Novell must provide the sources (including sources modified by Novell to create the updates) to those who have not licenced the software directly from them, but Novell cannot limit their redistribution by their licensees.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <justin at>
To: <license-discuss at>
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 8:58 AM
Subject: Restriction on distribution by Novell?

> Hi all,
> Just came across something interesting.  Although Novell's SuSE Linux  
> Enterprise Software (SLES) product allows for unlimited use once  
> purchased:
>   "You may make and use unlimited copies of the Software for Your  
> distribution and use within Your Organization."
> They have been clever with their terms for receiving updates (Upgrade  
> Protection).  They appear to restrict the number of servers to which  
> the updates can be applied:
>  (paragraph 5)  "... up to the number of installations for which  
> Customer has purchased Upgrade Protection."
> The updates in this case are software updates under various OSI  
> certified licenses (i.e. GPL, etc) which prohibit restriction on  
> distribution.
> Have I missed something here, or is Novell doing the wrong thing?

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