Board index » kylix » How can *anything* compiled on Linux stay "closed-source?"

How can *anything* compiled on Linux stay "closed-source?"


2005-03-31 12:44:16 PM
kylix1
Hi,
Yet another opportunity to execute several projects on Linux (with
Kylix) has appeared, but numerous issues (beyond several learning
curves) seem to be so problematic that it seems (potentially) cheaper
and easier to stay within the known Windows environment (even though
we'd seriously like to defenestrate!). Chief among the most important
concerns are the nature of the licensing, particularly the viral nature
of the GPL. All of these projects MUST remain closed-source, and must
not have any terms imposed on them beyond what the owner wants.
Using Linux as purely a user of any number of programs is great, but
once one approaches it as a closed-source developer, it gets a lot
trickier. It would be great if someone could point out that the
following is wrong, or incorrectly interpreted, but according to my
understanding:
1) Linux is licensed under GPL.
2) All of GNU is, of course, licensed under GPL.
3) GPL doesn't even allow LINKING to GPL code from non-GPL code, NOT
EVEN from MPL-licensed code! (one source on this: "That is, a module
covered by the GPL and a module covered by the MPL cannot legally be
linked together. We urge you not to use the MPL for this reason." from
www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/license-list.html)
4) Even the slightest program, one that calls system in libc, or a
"Hello World," or probably even a do-nothing empty project that's
compiled is likely to connect with this GPL-ed code.
Under this light, I don't even understand how Kylix can have non-GPL
versions! (Of course, we don't even know if the GPL is really a valid
contract either...)
Can anyone offer _PROOF_ that code written under Kylix Enterprise is
NOT virally "contaminated" by the GPL?
Thank you!!!
 
 

Re:How can *anything* compiled on Linux stay "closed-source?"

On 03/31/2005 01:44 PM +0900, Werner Hafner wrote:
Quote
Hi,
Hi.
Quote
we'd seriously like to defenestrate!). Chief among the most important
concerns are the nature of the licensing, particularly the viral nature
of the GPL. All of these projects MUST remain closed-source, and must
not have any terms imposed on them beyond what the owner wants.
There is no problem using Kylix Enterprise or Professional to create and
distribute closed-source applications on Linux. If you use the Open
Edition, then you're bound to releasing your applications under the GPL.
Quote
3) GPL doesn't even allow LINKING to GPL code from non-GPL code, NOT
Right, but the libs are licensed under the LGPL, which defines slightly
different rules.
Quote
4) Even the slightest program, one that calls system in libc, or a
"Hello World," or probably even a do-nothing empty project that's
compiled is likely to connect with this GPL-ed code.
Netscape on *NIX is compiled with gcc and uses GNU libc. No problem
there. This was the case back when Netscape was closed-source, too.
Quote
Can anyone offer _PROOF_ that code written under Kylix Enterprise is
NOT virally "contaminated" by the GPL?
Just look at any number of closed-source applications running on Linux.
Kylix is one example.
The GPL is not viral.
trane
--
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// Trane Francks XXXX@XXXXX.COM Tokyo, Japan
// Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
 

Re:How can *anything* compiled on Linux stay "closed-source?"

Quote
Right, but the libs are licensed under the LGPL, which defines
slightly different rules.
In a recent, and animated, discussion with people who know more about
this than I do, I was informed that quite a few libs are NOT LGPL,
supposedly including parts of libc. As much as I'd just like to sit
back and put my usually-well-placed trust in Borland, this situation
calls for more diligence. Also of concern is the constantly evolving
nature of the libs, the "aging" of the Kylix libs, and the fact that
the licenses appear to be changing on some of them (encouraged by the
FSF to gravitate towards GPL). [ The fine print isn't fun either! In
some cases apparently, dynamic linking is just fine, but static linking
is "illegal."]
I suspect that policies for continual policing will need to be put in
place, just to make sure no one lets any GPLed code in.
Quote
Just look at any number of closed-source applications running on
Linux. Kylix is one example.
That's the easy way... that I'd really like to take... but can't
afford.
Heh... by that type of measure one could judge Windows the best OS
available (as it's most used).
Quote
The GPL is not viral.
It's very purpose is to BE viral for a specific subspecies. It doesn't
even address users beyond saying they can have the programs to do with
what they please. It targets developers, who're expected to contribute
to the cause. [And if you spend any time reading the licenses' authors'
work, they get quite "religious" about it.]
A lot of people think VB is a better language than Delphi. I do not
understand them. A lot of people think that GPL is more "free" than the
BSD License. I understand them even less!
Thanks for your response. Now it's time for me to try and track down
the library licenses... You wouldn't happen to know of a comprehensive
and authoritative list would you? <G>
 

{smallsort}

Re:How can *anything* compiled on Linux stay "closed-source?"

Quote
That's the easy way... that I'd really like to take... but can't
afford.
Then just use good old good-sense. Will someone *ever* sue you for building
closed source apps for Linux??? What are the odds that this will happen???
Smaller then the odds of a comet crashing on earth? Then just forget about
this.... althought this is a good oportunity for the community to charge so
that ALL glibc libs be stated as Library GPL, so that we wonīt have
bureocratic problems.
Remember that the theory in different then the real world, so even if there
is a bizzare glibc that was forgotten to be put under LGPL, that will no be
an issue, since no one cares.
Quote
Heh... by that type of measure one could judge Windows the best OS
available (as it's most used).
It's very purpose is to BE viral for a specific subspecies. It doesn't
even address users beyond saying they can have the programs to do with
what they please. It targets developers, who're expected to contribute
to the cause. [And if you spend any time reading the licenses' authors'
work, they get quite "religious" about it.]
That would be viral. A licence cannot say that the program will do what the
users want. If you do that you are nuts or just likes seing lawiers.
This is not the place for anti-open source political activism. Use the
non-tecnical newsgroups (or any MS newsgroups) for that.
Quote
A lot of people think VB is a better language than Delphi. I do not
understand them. A lot of people think that GPL is more "free" than the
BSD License. I understand them even less!
You may be right about this one. I canīt say for sure as Iīve never read the
BSD license.
Quote
Thanks for your response. Now it's time for me to try and track down
the library licenses... You wouldn't happen to know of a comprehensive
and authoritative list would you? <G>
tsc tsc tsc .... wasting your time .... I beliave that software engeneers,
as any engeneer, must be a practical person, and so just try to make the
client happy and have that program your boss asked for up and running as
fast as possible.
Read the GPL Faq: www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html
This will help you.
Felipe
 

Re:How can *anything* compiled on Linux stay "closed-source?"

On 2005-03-31, Trane Francks < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >wrote:
Quote
On 03/31/2005 01:44 PM +0900, Werner Hafner wrote:
>3) GPL doesn't even allow LINKING to GPL code from non-GPL code, NOT

Right, but the libs are licensed under the LGPL, which defines slightly
different rules.
Moreover even if it _was_ GPL, there would be no problem. System delivered
libraries are an exception to the GPL:
---
However, as aspecial exception, the source code distributed need not include
anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binaryform) with
the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system
on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the
executable.
----
Quote
>Can anyone offer _PROOF_ that code written under Kylix Enterprise is
>NOT virally "contaminated" by the GPL?

Just look at any number of closed-source applications running on Linux.
Kylix is one example.

The GPL is not viral.
I disagree with that though. GPL is viral. However IMHO that is not
necessarily bad, it depends on the purpose.