Cygwin license -- Please let this thread die

Chris Faylor
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

On Tue, Mar 16, 1999 at 06:00:20PM -0500, Steve Morris wrote:
>Fergus Henderson writes:
>>On 16-Mar-1999, DJ Delorie <>wrote:
>>>[no attribution, but I think it was]
>>>>I have seldom found RMS's thoughts to be compelling. You always have
>>>>to take his adgenda into account and his adgenda is quite complex. I
>>>>do suspect that without LGPL gcc would be a minor player.
>>>Nothing about gcc is LGPL.
>>Yes, misspoke slightly, gcc is not LGPL.  But libgcc.a
>>is "GPL + special exceptions", the consequences of which are broadly
>>similar to LGPL, and I strongly suspect that without those special
>>exceptions, the same conclusion would hold.
>Yes libgcc.a was what I ment. It is my recollection that LGPL was
>originally invented for this library but I'll take your word for it. I
>was there when these things were originally being discussed but my
>memory is terrible.

Ok.  I don't know how this affects your argument but I doubt that you
could say that GCC development would not have succeeded if libgcc was
not GPLed.

>If this is true I think we should stop talking about LGPL and talk
>about a special exception only for the glue that allows a program to
>run in the cygwin.dll environment. How about a special exception only
>for people that want to provide cygwin interoperable binaries merely
>as a service without the GPL burden of that glue.

DJ has already pointed out that we're talking about more than
just "glue".

>Make it a free software exception for people not selling software.
>That would cover Sergeys coolview and inetd, and the wide variety of
>binaries provided by other helpful people, Andy Piper etc.  Cygnus is
>clearly looking the other way on these already which means they agree
>with the spirit of the suggestion.  Cygnus is obviously well aware of
>these binary distributions since their existance is discussed on this

This may be obvious to you but, AFAIK, Sergey provides sources for
coolview and inetd.  And, Andy Piper does too.  Or, at least I thought
he did.

If this is not the case then it is an issue that Cygnus has to deal

>There has to be a way of legally allowing people to give binaries away
>while still charging the people selling commercial packages.

I'm not sure if you realize just how often this argument has been raised
in the past ten years.  If you believe that source should always be made
available then this is a no-brainer: you stick with the GPL.  If you
don't believe that source should be made available in 100% of the cases
then the argument usually goes like the above.  I doubt that either point
of view will be swayed by the other's arguments.

I do know one thing: If you think that this issue can be solved in the
cygwin mailing list, I can guarantee that you're wrong.

As I've already indicated, I've put the original poster in touch with
people here who are in a position to deal with the licensing issues.
For this reason, I would like this thread to die a graceful death.


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