Is Open Office really free?

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Is Open Office really free?

Postby Tabley » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:23 pm

I downloaded Open Office from OpenOfficesuite-org.com but before I did so I had to pay for support. I was given a number of options and chose the 3 year VIP Support and I also opted for the 'Award Winning PDF Manager' for which I paid a total of £33 :alarm: . Unfortunately my e mails to officesuite@supporthelp.com are undelivered as the address is invalid. I have not received the 'Award Winning PDF Manager'. Have I been had? Can anybody help please?
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Re: IS OPEN OFFICE REALLY FREE?

Postby Villeroy » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:41 pm

I don't know "OPEN OFFICE". But the well known software called "OpenOffice.org" is free as in free beer and as free as in free speach.
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Re: IS OPEN OFFICE REALLY FREE?

Postby pingju » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:58 pm

If you want to get the free Office software, you need to download it from http://openoffice.org.

The URL you mentioned "OpenOfficesuite-org.com" is totally another story.
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Re: IS OPEN OFFICE REALLY FREE?

Postby baffledexpert » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:59 pm

You've been had, I'm afraid.

The people who took your money are trying to fit through a legal loophole; they're not allowed to sell OpenOffice, but they are allowed to sell "support". Everyone and anyone can give away OpenOffice.

I'm very sorry for your experience--and I'm also sorry that the poster above couldn't give you a straight answer without being snarky.
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Re: IS OPEN OFFICE REALLY FREE?

Postby acknak » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:39 pm

... they're not allowed to sell OpenOffice...

Sorry to nitpick, but it is quite legal to sell OpenOffice.

I assume that the scam sites avoid doing so because a) they don't need to (providing the actual software won't help them fool any more 'customers'), and b) there are some reponsibilities incurred when you actually distribute OOo (e.g. you have to also provide the source code). It would take much more effort to sell the software, but it would not be illegal.

E.g. Redhat and Novell package and sell Linux, including OOo, and a ton of other free software along with it, legitimately, for a lot of money, all above board.
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Re: Is Open Office really free?

Postby TheGurkha » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:30 pm

Perhaps they are referring to this PDF extension as the 'award winning PDF manager'. It is also free: Sun PDF Import Extension.
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Re: Is Open Office really free?

Postby TheGurkha » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:34 pm

Perhaps in the small print RedHat and others state something about the free software being included, but not being 'in the price'? I know you can sell distro's even though they include free software, but is that the same as actually selling free software?
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Re: Is Open Office really free?

Postby acknak » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:15 pm

... is that the same as actually selling free software?

You can't get their product legally unless you pay for it.

That means--to me, at least--that they are "selling free software" but there could well be some legal or economic technicality beyond my appreciation.

It is also true that you can get "the same thing," legally, for free, through a community source, like CentOS, but it is a "built-from-the-same-source-code" copy, not merely an image-copy of what Redhat sells. You can also legally take the same source code that Redhat uses and make your own product and sell that, which is what Oracle has done.

So, Redhat cannot prevent you from getting the same free software that they sell and using it in any way you like--including competing with them--but you can't pass your product off as coming from them, and If you want the packaged, branded, supported software, you have to pay for it.
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Re: Is Open Office really free?

Postby TheGurkha » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:30 pm

At the risk of hi-jacking the thread (which I don't want to do), I know that there are commercial products that you can buy that include Apache, but they're not selling Apache. i wonder if redHat have p[ositioned themselves to do something similar with OOo and the other applications that are included within their distro, and are also available free?
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Re: Is Open Office really free?

Postby acknak » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:29 pm

I just ran across this page that seems to give up-to-date, clear and helpful information: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wik ... oftware.3F

Although it's not significantly different from what we've discussed here, it's probably a good place to refer people to, since it's coming from OO.org.
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