Red Hat does Java, but can it play the standards game?


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  • I think you italicized...

    ... the wrong part of the quote. This part:
    If Fortinet has to cease trading that?s a good result for the GPL.
    is the more significant.

    The point I'd take is that the GPL, when it stands up in court, gives programmers control over their code. If Fortinet gets slapped, that's a demonstration of the strength of the GPL.

    Of course, a strong GPL can create inconvenience. It might, might create difficulties for proprietary software built atop GPL'ed software.
    But maybe that's a different issue(?).
    Anton Philidor
    • Anton may be right

      ...on both counts. The Fontinet part of the quote is newsworthy. Good catch.

      And the main point of Welte's work is to prevent the development of proprietary software based on the GPL. What you get must be given back.

      There are other open source licenses if you want to do things differently...
      • Thanks.

        All compliments gratefully accepted.

        The issue of how to build proprietary atop GPL'ed code is probably still open. Some people have asserted that the method is already known and is working. (Involves inserting a connector, which becomes open source.) I'd like to see that confirmed in court, just to be reassured.

        This case does prove software with GPL'ed code can't be entirely concealed, as Fontinet tried. Publishing some code and not other code is an aggravation, and it's one companies like Fortinet are going to have to become accustomed to enduring.
        Anton Philidor
        • Microsoft *bundle* GPL licensed GCC compiler and Howto Link

          There is little to stop you *bundling* GPL licensed software with proprietary software. Microsoft have been shipping a copy of the GPL licensed GCC compiler tools with Interix/Services For Unix package for years.

          Up until the release of 3.5, Microsoft even charged by the seat for SFU. As long as Microsoft abided by the terms of the GPL license, and provide the source code to the already GPL'ed GCC, it has been quite legal for Microsoft to do so. Microsoft and anti-GPL advocates seem remarkably silent on this well known fact.

          As for linking. *LGPL* licensed software is fine for linking, just make sure that it builds as a seperate standalone library from your proprietary software.

          Note [b]I am not a lawyer, and the following should not be taken as legal advice alone. I would advise you pass it along to your legal advisors for evaluation *before* you release proprietary products based on the following[/b].

          Safely "Connecting" ( rarther that linking ) proprietary software to GPL licensed libraries or programs requires a few steps.

          1) Design the proprietary side (A) to connect to the GPL side (B) with all the GPLed code running in a seperate process, client server style.

          2) Create a working demo implementation (C) with a *minimum of the functionality* provided by (B) so that (A) runs and works using (A)+(C).

          3) LGPL the interface as a library used between (A)-(C) as (D), and use the same interface with (A)-(B).

          4) Distribute the code for (B) under the terms of the GPL.

          5) Insure that contibutions to (D) remain LGPL licensed. Maintain (C), to the point that (A)+(C) still runs.

          The above abides by the letter, if not the spirit, of the GPL license.

          If your product becomes popular then the open source community will come along and start to produce a GPL'ed version of (A), (G) to work as (G)+(B). The business model is to keep development of (A)+(B) ahead of (G)+(B). Not that ifficult since both (G)+(B) are GPL'ed. You can just move source code from (G) to a new (B) to use with (A).
          David Mohring
  • Was I Wrong?

    Question to the group.

    Did I go after Governor too early? Should he have been given more time to consider the stories based on what he said before getting criticized here?

    Just asking.