Cygwin license

Larry Hall (RFK Partners, Inc)
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

I agree with Steve.

I've debated for quite a while whether it makes sense to say anything in 
this thread.  So far, I've only attempted to contribute to it with specific
responses to particular contributors.  At this time, I think I can contribute
something to the thread in general however:

 - The discussion has been about what is actually required to be able to 
   distribute something on top of Cygwin.

 - The focus has generally been on the difference between the two licensing
   schemes with which Cygnus provides Cygwin, with a focus of the discussion 
   on what it means to distribute something under the GPL.

 - Both Chris and DJ have quite directly and pretty completely answered the
   wide variety of questions in this regard, with DJ providing a wealth of
   insight into the GPL (for those of us who haven't taken the time to try
   to read it and think about it - me included!;-))

 - Releasing GPL software on top of Cygwin seems to mean that one needs to 
   provide the sources for both the software and Cygwin along with the 
   binaries.  It seems quite clear that the addition of about 4MBs of 
   Cygwin source is all that is necessary and, subjectively, doesn't seem
   like much of a burden.

 - Much of the rest of the conversation about this subject has amounted to 
   people complaining about the "commercial" license form that Cygnus sells,
   either in principle or in cost, or general comments on whether GPL makes
   sense in a particular individual's view.

I think its fair to say that the question of what it means to release a 
program built on top of Cygwin has been answered completely.  If you want
to keep your source (and Cygwin's) and sell your program, buy a commercial 
license.  If you are willing to distribute your binaries/source (and 
Cygwin's), just use the GPL.  If you don't like either of these options,
talk to Cygnus directly and see if you can work something out or go 
someplace else to find the support you need.  

Since the original point of the thread was to try to clarify what it meant
to distribute something on top of Cygwin and this issue has been resolved,
perhaps its best now not to let this thread degenerate more into a 
discussion of the merits of the GPL and/or Cygnus bashing.  I'm sure if 
you have comments for Cygnus in this regard, you can contact them directly
with your concerns.

That's it.  I'm out.  If this adds more off-topic discussion to the thread, 
I'm sorry!

Larry Hall                   
RFK Partners, Inc.                     (781) 239-1053
8 Grove Street                         (781) 239-1655
Wellesley, MA, 02482-7797    

At 11:57 AM 3/19/99 -0500, Steve Morris wrote:
>I know I promised to drop out of this thread but I couldn't resist
>one last note.
>DJ Delorie quotes:
> > > It seems that Micro$oft is here more friendly to the developer than
> > > Cygnus:
>Microsoft does not give you the software. GPLed cygwin is a free
>sourceware product. Cygnus owns cygwin because they developed it. The
>only rights you have to it are the ones that they give you plus the
>ones allowed by law (fair use etc.) By releasing it under GPL they
>have been quite generous. By bundling it with a lot of other GLPed
>software they have been quite helpful. I am a little surprised about
>the carping that continues.
>How can you possibly compare a free product available in source with
>the MS piece of junk that you have to pay too much for.
>I have been involved here in arguements about what exactly the GPL
>means and how it applies to cygwin and how enforcable its restrictions
>might be. I regret my contribution because it muddled the main
>You have been given a gift. If you don't like the terms of the gift
>don't accept it. Where is the arguement?  You think Cygnus should be
>even more generous? Maybe they should pay you to use it? Maybe their
>employees should work for you for free; I mean even more than some of
>them do already. :->
>I suggest that if you don't like the Cygwin distribution requirements
>you buy a product you like better.
>There is a tendancy to pick on the nice guys because they care and
>listen. Cygnus is the nice guy in this discussion. Let's ease up on
>them. Go beat up Bill Gates if you have aggression to work out. See if
>he listens.
>- My $.12. Now I am really out of this thread.
>Steve Morris
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