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

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
[email protected] 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.