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Re: Licensing for academic computer labs at a university

On Thu, Aug 21, 2003 at 10:39:41PM -0400, Igor Pechtchanski wrote:
>On Fri, 22 Aug 2003, Elfyn McBratney wrote:
>>Scott Copus <> wrote:
>>>Would it be possible to incorporate Cygwin into computer lab images for
>>>computer labs at an educational institution for academic use by
>>>Would the source have to be included too if it was included on each
>>>hard drive of a lab workstation?  (I'm talking about a pre-installed
>>>package--not a "setup" that students must run first.)
>>IANAL, but you'll need to give them source, too.  If your distributing
>>this (binary) "package" to your students, you need to give them the
>>source code for the corresponding binaries (in one way or another).
>>You should aquaint yourself with the GPL FAQ (available one GNU's
>>website here <>).
>>>The FAQ mentions the full package itself is approximately 800MB--NOT
>>>INCLUDING the source code.  If I were required to include the source
>>>code (even if it's still tarred and g-zipped), then does anyone know
>>>how much space would that require?
>>Binary ~400MB, source ~500MB.  Something like that anyway.  -- Elfyn
>Note that the GPL only requires you to provide the source for the
>binaries you distribute.  So, if you set up a shared network drive with
>the sources that were pre-installed on the hard-drives, that should be
>quite enough to satisfy the GPL (however, IANAL, so please consult a
>lawyer if you are worried about licensing).  If the students update
>their installations, they should be able to get the new sources from
>wherever they got the binaries anyway.

I know that in a commercial organization it is ok to deploy GPLed
programs all over the company without offering sources to each employee.
I don't know if the equivalent is true for a university.

So, the usual two pieces of advice:  1) Check the GPL FAQ at, and 2) Consult your lawyer to
make sure that you are using the software appropriately.  It doesn't make
a lot of sense to put a university at risk on the advice of faceless
voices in a mailing list.


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