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Re: cygwin redistribution and gpl requirements

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 
> 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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