[Mageia-discuss] commercial support

andré andr55 at laposte.net
Mon Sep 27 04:33:58 CEST 2010

Romain d'Alverny a écrit :
> On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 21:24, Dick Gevers<dvgevers at xs4all.nl>  wrote:
>> If the need arises, what problem would there be if any number of Mageia
>> volunteers set up a commercial "Mageia Service SA" with a license from the
>> Mageia non-profit association to provide such commercial support? They
>> could make a contract that the profits from the SA would go to the
>> association and/or the shareholders and/or the employed volunteers at
>> certain agreed percentages of the earnings.
> This is something we expect and welcome to happen: companies providing
> commercial support and services from and around the distribution.
> We expect this to happen as they would need, to be consistent with
> their own business, to contribute back to the Mageia project: be it
> upstream patches, sponsoring, resources, developers time, any other
> role, etc. (of course, such a contribution would not, in any case,
> alter the governance of the project).
> Indeed, licensing and guidelines for this to happen smoothly have to
> be thought out properly.
>   Romain
> _____
Note that gpl v3 doesn't require that 3rd parties contribute back to the 
Mageia project, although Mageia could make that an additional requirement.
The GPL v3 does require that any changes that are conveyed to other 
parties, be conveyed with the source code and a GPL v3 licence.
However if a customer contracts exclusive modifications not to be 
conveyed to other parties, then under GPL v3 there is explicitly no 
requirement to release this code (source or not) to any other party.  
This should not be required by Mageia, either, as this provision allows 
companies to make confidential modifications of GPL software for their 
own exclusive use, or to commission others to do so for them.
Note that as Romain says, it generally would be in the interest of third 
parties to contribute back changes to Mageia, particularly bug fixes.

Also note that support doesn't necessarily involve changes to GPL 
covered code.
There could be no coding involved.  The coding could be not an integral 
part of the GPL code.  Or the code could link to a LGPL library, and 
thus not be restricted.
Personally, I've done a lot of support covered by these situations.

In short, there would be no problem for Mageia to maintain a list of 
third parties wanting to do commercial support, as long as Mageia is not 
a party to such transactions.

- André

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