Cygwin license

Greg Miller
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

Fergus Henderson wrote:
> > > Courts have held in other cases that glue software required for
> > > inter-operability can be used regardless of license conflicts.
> >
> > The cygwin startup code is not just glue, and there's nothing else for
> > us to be inter-operable with.
> This issue might be inter-operability of e.g. my program written using
> cygwin.dll with someone else's program also written using cygwin.dll.

No, the issue would likely be interoperation between your program and
the DLL itself.

> The point is that your code *is* the OS, or at least part of it, from
> the perspective of POSIX programs.  From that perspective, smorris's
> arguments might hold.  Whether the courts would look at
> it from that perspective is of course an open question...

Actually, the only way I see that part being relevant is if cygwin were
to acquire such a large percentage of the UNIX API implementation market
(including both UNIX OSes and POSIX layers) that it became an antitrust
issue. It's more likely to come down to a matter of whether a judge
considers it feasible to use the cygwin DLL without the libcygwin
library. The import library and possibly the startup code are the only
things likely to be considered targets of the "fair use" clause.
President Clinton was acquitted; then again, so was O. J. Simpson.
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