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Linux Today correction--there never was a Slackware/SuSE no compete contract

Nov 23, 1998, 16:20 (1 Talkback[s])

by Dwight Johnson

In our original story, we had reported:

"Volkerding was not happy, however, when I mentioned S.u.S.E. He said S.u.S.E. was originally a German version of Slackware and he had providedtechnical support to the developers with the agreement that S.u.S.E. would not market their product in the U.S. And now, S.u.S.E. had violated that agreement.

"This was news to me and I did not go into it with Patrick that I had helped S.u.S.E. with marketing their 5.3 product by editing the English language text of the S.u.S.E. users guide."

Patrick, however, has informed me that he never said any of this. This is what he says he did say as forwarded to the talk@suse.de list:

"Yeah, I had a few words with the guy who wrote that article -- there are several inaccuracies and in some places he totally put words in my mouth (some of which, IMHO, had a rather negative slant). I guess it's taught me to beware of media people who don't use a tape recorder... the article contains no direct quotes, and attributes all kinds of random ideas and emotions to me.

"As far as the conversation I had with him about SuSE -- he brought up SuSE in the first place by telling me how he'd fixed their "badly translated" manual (I notice in the article he claims to have never discussed that with me), and asked if I knew anything about the distribution. I said, yes; that several years back they'd asked if they could make a translated version of Slackware for the German-speaking market, and I said sure, go right ahead. This led to a series of (I think, rather baited) questions about: Well, doesn't it bother you that now they're in the US market? Did you ever try to sue? etc, etc, etc. I told him, no, of course not. It's free software, and that's part of the nature of it. I've never had any problem with SuSE, and as far as I know (though I don't have my sent-mail from that far back), I never tried to place any restrictions on SuSE's use of Slackware at all when I gave them permission to use it. For that matter, SuSE didn't even need my permission anyway, since Slackware was already licensed in such a way that they could do whatever they liked with it. I'm sure they knew that, too, which is why I was so impressed with them for asking me anyway."

Linux Today regrets publishing misinformation and we have corrected our story.