[ANN] Cygwin DEV survey

Greg Miller gmiller@classic-games.com
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

Steve Morris wrote:
> Hmmm... To expand a little the mentioned rulings might suggest that
> one has the right to distribute software that will run under cygwin
> even if it means using some otherwise copy protected software. As an
> example Microsoft can't restrict the use of code that is required to
> write a Windows application, even if they hold the copyright on that
> code.

Possibly so, although I'm not aware of any such cases that have involved

> If this were applicable it would mean that Cygnus does not have the
> right to restrict distribution of code that runs under Cygwin by
> restricting the inclusion of copyrighted code necessary to run under
> cygwin. This would suggest that while Cygnus has the right to control
> and restrict cygwin itself it cannot similarly control the glue
> required to run under cygwin.


> Of course cygwin is not Windows. Restricting distribution of software
> running under a monopoly environment like Windows is a lot different
> than restricting the distribution of cygwin computable software. The
> courts might rule differently in these two cases. There are legitimate
> alternatatives to cygwin in the UNIX apps on Windows market. The
> courts would probably find that relevent.

Probably not. Many of the previous cases involved software that had
strong competition, notably the Sega Genesis and several embedded
applications, such as cash register software.

> All I know is that if I ever wanted to do binary distribution of
> cygwin applications (i.e. not under GPL) I would buy a license from
> Cygnus. It is probably cheaper than the lawyers fees to figure this
> out. I would rather Cygnus get the money than the lawyers.

Indeed, it's mostly just a hypothetical case--almost nobody sues over
such a questionable case.
President Clinton was acquitted; then again, so was O. J. Simpson.
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