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Re: redistributing cygwin1.dll

> >it looks like you're the person to contact to solve my problem. If
> >not, please redirect me to the right person.
> The "right person" is the cygwin mailing list.  You somehow found the
> archives without finding the numerous exhortations against private
> email.
> I've cc'ed this message there.

Oops, sorry. I should have paid more attention, since I am myself on
many mailing-lists and I hate being contacted in private as much as you
seem to be. Sorry again.

> > From what I read on the mailing list, I am infringing the GPL
> > doing so.
> Yes, you are not compliant with the GPL.
> (...)
> I haven't had the time to implement anything special.  Your simplest
> solution is just to make sure that the sources for your applications
> are downloadable and that the source code (e.g.,
> cygwin-1.3.22-src.tar.bz2) for the cygwin DLL you are providing is
> also available.  It really isn't that hard.

Not that I find it hard, but it's probably much trouble for nothing. And
I don't speak for me only. I'm not the only one facing the problem,
since I could first find a previous post on the mailing list with the
same kind of request, and a quick search with Google gave me some more
pages proposing cygwin1.dll for download without the sources. On some
other pages, the file simply isn't available for download anymore, due
to the licensing issue (which means that the author chose to remove the
binary rather than to make the sources available for download).

I really think you should do something about this. Forcing people to
make the source available has the following drawbacks IMHO:
 * Some people will choose to remove the binary, possibly due to
technical limitations. This makes their work unusable for most users.
 * Others will choose to make the sources available (few of them, I
suppose). It's probably a waste of space, since few users, if any, will
ever download it, and the ones wanting to do so will probably get the
file from cygwin's setup.
 * Most people, I believe, will keep the binary without offering the
sources. They'll infringe the GPL and I can't blame them for that. They
don't intend to do anything bad, most of them are sharing their own
code. Such cases of unpunished GPL infringement could be exploited by
evil lawyers.
 * In the two later cases, the binary and possibly source form of the
library will be quickly outdated, since Cygwin is evolving rather fast.
I don't plan to update my page that often, and I believe most authors
won't either.

So, I really believe you should set a place up where people can get the
latest version of cygwin1.dll, in binary and source forms. A simple or
http directory would do it, if you don't want to make it very public and
advertise for it. Authors like me would then just have to link to the
directory, sparing disk space and protecting the GPL.

Comments welcome.

Jean Delvare

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