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Re: cygwin redistribution and gpl requirements
- From: Charles Wilson <cwilson at ece dot gatech dot edu>
- To: Jon Allen <jallen at logistic-systems dot com>
- Cc: "'cygwin at cygwin dot com'" <cygwin at cygwin dot com>
- Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 14:30:38 -0500
- Subject: Re: cygwin redistribution and gpl requirements
- References: <D56B01B8EAA2F0448C873830CB77230E078F68@rearadmiral.logistics.int>
Jon Allen wrote:
> My company wants to re-distribute some of the pre-compiled cygwin utilities,
> e.g. grep.exe. These utilities will be distributed without modification,
> and to make them run we will copy the needed cygwin dll's. I assume we will
> maintain GPL compliance if we:
> 1. Include a copy of the GPL with the programs.
> 2. Reference source code availability at http://cygwin.com
> Is this sufficient?
No, it is not. The GPL states that if YOU distribute GPL binaries, then
YOU must also distribute the sources. A pointer to a web page outside
of your control, that might die, doesn't satisfy your legal obligations.
Besides, what if the cygwin site stops distributing the source code for
cygwin-1.3.3 -- because we're now distributing cygwin-1.3.9, and provide
the source code for the NEW version? Where are YOUR users going to get
the source code for the version of the cygwin DLL that YOU are
distributing? You gave them version 1.3.3 -- they need to be able to
get the source code for version 1.3.3.
Those who obtain the software from you, must also be able to obtain the
source code from you via the same distribution medium. Thus, if you
provide the binaries via your ftp site, then you must put the sources on
that ftp site. If you mail out CDROMs with the binaries, then those who
receive the CDROMs must be able to request a CDROM with the source code.
A close reading of the GPL itself would reveal these things...but a
company, having more at stake than individuals, should seek the advice
of a lawyer before venturing into new legal waters. (Not that the GPL
is new, but based on your questions it appears that they are new waters
for your company)
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