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Re: Source code for binaries offered at ?

My concern is that issues surrounding Mr. Clark's use of cygwin goes well
beyond just supplying source
on his website. It appears that the raison d'etre for his software is to
simplfy software distribution, and
"can up" processes and process combinations for very tailored purposes - a
worthwhile endeavor.
However, looking at it from a different angle, what he's actually done is
create a kind of super compiler
that "links" executables together as if they were methods that one would
find in the cygwin1.dll. In fact,
neither he nor anyone else can run bash without the cygwin1.dll. By
"slurping" up the cygwin1.dll into a
proprietary binary structure and combining it not only with the proprietary
environment that enables it's
operation, but potentially with other standalone binary utilities that may
run the gamut from open source,
to shareware to extremely proprietary - i.e - one license per machine for
sequential, not simultaneous
processing only  - how does that differ conceptually from a compiler
linking a proprietary method with
a cygwin method found in the cygwin1.dll into a stand-alone executable???
Such a use - if one hopes
to distribute such a binary for a fee - requires a contractual agreement
with Red Hat, along with payment
of a rather NOT insignificant (if I may say so myself) licensing fee.

      This utility looks like a great way to "trojan horse" licensed
software into a binary structure that
would mask it's very existence. A pirate's dream come true perhaps - at
least when used and examined
by unsophisticated users - which make up the vast majority. This is why I
urged Mr. Clark to consult an
experienced attorney. He needs to inform his user base that licensing
restrictions apply to everything
bundled with his utility - and even if the final executable is not sold for
a fee, but distributed in such a way
that the stand-alone executable may change
hands many times, it may even be necessary that the source for any and all
GPL'd software be included IN
the executable itself in such a way that it can be exported to a text file
with a command line switch.
Certainly including the source on a distribution cd and the website goes a
long way towards satisfying
this requirement. However, one way such a binary would be useful would be
in a process "chain" - where
the bundle actually is used to support a distributed operation B2B, over
the internet, etc. In such a chain
the final package would arrive after traveling through many "highways".
Traversing such journeys with
"source in tow" may not always be practical. Furthermore, new and
uneducated recipient's of such
an executable NEED to know about it's contents, the licensing restrictions
of those contents, and
prohibitions of duplicating the bundled executable without satisfying ALL
licensing restrictions of ALL
its contents - INCLUDING the distribution of source for any and all bundled
GPL software.

Brian Kelly

"Christopher Faylor" <> on 07/28/2003 11:19:04

Please respond to

Sent by:

cc:     (bcc: Brian Kelly/WTC1/Empire)

Subject:    Re: Source code for binaries offered at ?

On Mon, Jul 28, 2003 at 10:12:07PM -0400, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
>From: "Carlo Florendo" <>
>> From: "Jonathan Clark" <>
>> Subject: RE: Source code for binaries offered at ?
>> > Hello Max,
>> >
>> > This is a good point.  I have the source downloaded and in backups
>> > around here - so it can be located if needed.  While I'm in the
process of
>> > putting together a new archive that contains more GPL disclaimers (and
>> > utilities), I wish to be in compliance by offering a CDROM for those
>> > desire it.
>> >
> 3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
>under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
>Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:
>b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three

This would require sending a written offer to every person who purchases
your software.  "Written" is not email.  It's an actual letter.

I'll say it again: We have consulted with experts.  The FSF FAQ entry is
really correct here.  If you are offering binaries on a web site, you
need to offer sources on the web site, too.


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