Re: 'GPL encumbrance problems' (jdow)

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Ralf Corsepius wrote:
On Thu, 2006-01-19 at 00:34 -0600, Mike McCarty wrote:

STYMA, ROBERT E (ROBERT) wrote:
[snip]

I seem to remember that libc.so is LGPL, so that takes care of
the "hello world" program.
That about sums it up. I have never released a commercial program
for Linux, and probably never will. Mostly because Linux is not
Linux, but rather Linux+GNU, and all of GNU is GPL or LGPL.
Linux per se is not the problem, the problem is that *building*
for Linux uses GNU, which, like all FSF stuff, is GPL or LGPL,
both of which are highly infective (though LGPL is slighly less
so).
Non-sense. The Linux glibc's and other fundamental system libraries'
licenses (e.g. libstdc++) have been carefully chosen to allow this case.
I'm starting to get annoyed by this. I have studied the LGPL
carefully. Have you? You make vague claims. I have made specific
claims, quoting the LGPL.

Clauses 5 and 6 of the LGPL not only implicitly but even explicitly
state the following:

	if you link with an LGPL library, then you must supply
		all parts necessary to rebuild the executable,
		including all other link libraries, in a format
		which one can use for reverse engineering,
		repair of defects, and rebuilding
		this includes compilers and linkers unless they
		are commonly included with the target OS
	if you link with a library which is incompatible with this,
		then you cannot distribute

Read clauses 5 and 6, consider them, and then reconsider what
you just wrote. LGPL is highly infective. Not to the point
of clobbering hello_world.c, but nearly so. I spent weeks
discussing this with lawyers in 2001 or so, before deciding
that it was impossible to include any LGPL or GPL stuff in
commercial telephony equipment. IANAL, but I have these
opinions:

	(1) LGPL makes claims which are likely insupportable,
		in particular that an executable which
		merely is linked with a library is a
		"derived work"
	(2) even so, to go to court over this is prohibitively
		expensive, when other, non-LGPL libraries
		are available with better (for the developer)
		licenses (like those provided with Solaris,
		just as an example)
	(3) AND if someone went to court, the court would
		have to be provided with a copy of the
		source anyway, and if the source contains
		trade secrets, then the cat is out of the
		bag, and everything commercial is lost anyway,
	(4) SO Linux/GNU and all other GPL and LGPL stuff is
		inappropriate for commercial software development
	(5) which is something that Richard Stallman conveyed
		to me in 1984 or so in private e-mail
		correspondence as being one of his goals
		in creating the FSF and the GPL in particular

Maybe Borland will come out with a nice compiler for Linux, and
we'll be able to develop good commercial software for Linux. Who
knows?
Non-sense. Neither does using GNU tools to develop software for linux
That word is really beginning to grate on my nerves. Respond to the
specific points with specific arguments, and we can make some progress,
but in any case, stop with the vagueness.

doesn't put them under the GPL nor will proprietary toolchains help you
to circumvent glibc.


Borland's licenses for the link library are much more generous
than the FSF's. The FSF is dedicated to the proposition that
developers should not be compensated for their work, only
maintainers and distributers, and they only for value added.
Non-sense. How do you think do SW vendors implement commercial SW for
Linux?
Read what I wrote above, and comment on that. It is specific,
and points out exactly what the legal problems are. Unless you
can address them, then you are arguing vacuously from a position
of feelings only. Show me how the LGPL is carefully crafted so
that I can use a proprietary library from a third party, (or even my
own for that matter) when clause 6 explicitly states that I cannot.

I want you to discuss the actual words of the LGPL with me and
explain to me how my understanding of it is incorrect. A small team
of lawyers (2 + two clerks I think) were involved in helping
me understand what the claims were about 4 years ago. Maybe you are
better at interpreting it than they were.

Mike
--
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This message made from 100% recycled bits.
You have found the bank of Larn.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.
I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!


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