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Re: redistributing cygwin1.dll

On Mon, May 12, 2003 at 05:13:54PM +0200, Jean Delvare wrote:
>> 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.

So, you'd prefer that any trouble here would be mine, eh?  I've given
you tools and I've given you the rules via which you can use the tools.
No money has changed hands.  If there is a burden of obligation, it
flows from you to me, not the other way around.  I am under no
obligation to make your life easier in any way but the rules are so
clear and so simple that it is difficult to understand why we even have
to be here discussing them or talking about them as if there was an
immense amount of trouble involved.

Just how ungrateful is it for you to insist that I do more for you when
ALL THAT YOU HAVE TO DO is download cygwin-1.3.22-1-src.tar.bz2 and make
it available for download?

You've probably wasted more time with this email than you would have
taken just performing that simple operation.

You referenced a URL where I talked about making the DLL available for
download.  Had I done that (and I'm now less inclined thanks to your
email) I would have also made the source available.  I wasn't going to
bypass the GPL.  You could do the same.

>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.

If you are under the impression that we don't notify people who are
bypassing the GPL when it is brought to our attention, you are sorely
mistaken.  We don't spend every minute of every day scouring the internet
looking for offenders but when we hear about them we do notify them.

If you are under the impression that somehow your simplistic reasoning
is unique or new you are also very wrong.  You are following the trend
of countless others who offer the same self-serving tired arguments when
they could easily just be taking ten minutes to offer the sources
and be done with it.  It is quite amazing how predictable the response
is when people are asked to comply with the GPL.  There must be some
kind of instinctual racial memory that is being tickled by the GPL,
causing everyone to respond in the same knee-jerk sophmoric manner.

>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

Someone chose not to include a 6MB file on their web site or in their
ftp area and I'm supposed to do something to help them?  The year is
2003.  6MB is not a lot of space.

Cygwin is a popular project.  I don't care if a few people can't deal
with our licensing.  This is not an argument that gives you any
leverage.  You have no leverage.  I don't owe you anything.

>I really think you should do something about this. Forcing people to
>make the source available has the following drawbacks IMHO:

My response to you was that I hadn't had the time to put lone DLL on the
web page.  Is there a comprehension problem here?  Am I under some
obligation to do things in your time frame?  I think not.

Let me be clear that my saying that I may do something doesn't remove
your obligation to adhere to the GPL.  You could have just taken my
"haven't had the time" as an indication that this would eventually be
done and just graciously offered the sources on your web site until such
time as I did have the time.

Yet, here you are insisting that I take my time responding to you and
acting as if I never offered to make the DLL available.  Incredible.

> * 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.

Again, if we know about GPL infringers, we will contact them.  You've
wandered into this mailing list spouting tired self-serving arguments
that have been made time and again for this and other free software

The fact that you found a web site that offered the dll without the
sources is irrelevant.  If you'd like to provide the URL of said
site, we'll contact them.

The fact that you found a web site where someone has decided not to
offer cygwin-based binaries because they didn't want to include cygwin
source code is also irrelevant.  That was their decision.  My project
is doing just fine without catering to their need to distribute the
DLL without the source.

You don't have to use cygwin.  You're benefitting from thousands of man
hours of work.  You could at least do us the courtesy of playing by our
rules without whining about them.

It's a real shame.  I thought from your original email that you were
willing to do the right thing.  Now I can see that you're just another
user who thinks you're owed something.

>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.

I doubt that you'll like my comments.  I'd already said that I would make
the DLL available.  You even found the email.

However, for the record, I now withdraw the offer.  You, and people like
you, who think you deserve something have convinced me that the burden
of making this available is not worth it.  And, believe me, had I made
this available it would have increased the support burden because there
would have been people downloading the DLL and scratching their heads
over the fact that bash and/or ssh didn't work.

So, you have some choices: 1) provide the sources, 2) remove the binaries
from your site, 3) point to a cygwin mirror site and instruct people to
download the .tar.bz2 files and unpack them.

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