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Re: GNU Win32? Not anymore.

On Thu, 10 Jul 1997, Jim Pick wrote:

> Well, at least I didn't spend too much time trying to get dpkg
> to run on "GNU Win32"...
> As I was saying before - another "almost-free" license to stick on
> the trophy shelf beside the Troll Tech license.  I'm particularily
> disturbed by Cygnus' concept of "Free Sofware".

I agree, but, if the GPL is considered "free" enough for libraries, this
new license is "free'er".  Put it this way, under the GPL, everybody would
have to put their code under the GPL.  Under this license, you don't have
too, unless you're in competition.  However, they don't say what the
license is, if you are in competition with them.  If that's GPL'd then
what's the problem.  i.e. if they say the software is LGPL'd for normal
use, but if the use is deemed to be in competition with them, than they
are operating under the GPL.  Is that legal?

Just wondering,


> ------- Forwarded Message
> Subject: Revised Cygwin32 licensing terms
> To: gnu-win32@cygnus.com
> Date: Tue, 8 Jul 1997 16:58:37 -0700 (PDT)
> From: gordoni@cygnus.com (Gordon Irlam)
> We have revised the licensing terms on Cygwin32.  Previously Cygwin32 was
> licensed under the GPL.  This restricted the use of Cygwin32 in proprietary
> software.  The new license allows Cygwin32 to be used in both free and
> proprietary software, except by direct competitors of Cygnus.
> Details of the new license are available from the GNU Win32 home page:
>     http://www.cygnus.com/misc/gnu-win32/
> We haven't yet built a new release, but when we do, we will be incorporating
> the new licensing terms into it.
> It has been tricky for us to figure out the details of the Cygwin32 license.
> This is because Cygwin32 includes both a set of applications, and a set of
> library code developers include with the code they have written.  The
> original license for Cygwin32 was the FSF Library GPL.  However, we found the
> Library GPL went to far in enabling Cygnus' business competitors to take and
> benefit from the work we had performed on Cygwin32, without contributing
> anything back in return.  As a result we decided to switch to licensing
> Cygwin32 under the GPL.  Unfortunately, we then found a lot of people who
> would otherwise have been interested in using Cygwin32 were unwilling to do
> so, because they were not willing to license their code under the GPL.  We
> are now attempting to find a balance somewhere between the two previous
> licenses we tried.
> The new licensing terms for Cygwin32 permits anyone to make use of Cygwin32
> without adhering to the GPL, and without being required to make their
> sources available, provided that in so doing they are not attempting to
> directly compete with Cygnus.  The reason we decided it was necessary to
> prevent the use of Cygwin32 by companies that are competing directly with
> Cygnus is explained below.
> Cygnus specializes in the provision of development tools for embedded
> systems. Cygnus is responsible for perhaps 80% of all on going GCC
> development, and 95% of all GDB development.  We commercialize our
> development efforts through our GNUPro compiler tool chain.  Other people and
> organizations contribute to, and benefits from our work.
> We have found that some of our embedded systems competitors have taken the
> work we have publically released and then are using it to compete directly
> with us.  These companies typically do not contribute back to the ongoing
> development of GCC.  Several examples follow.  Taos Systems uses GCC as the
> compiler for their embedded operating system, but are not involved in the
> ongoing maintenance of GCC, and haven't made any of the modifications they
> have made to GCC publicly available.  Wind River, a major embedded systems
> developer, with a market valuation of around $1100m, makes heavy uses of the
> GNU tools including GCC, and even has a proprietary graphical front end to
> GDB (that has been designed in such a way as to get around the GPL), but
> they currently don't contribute anything to the ongoing development of any
> of GCC and GDB tools.  Tao Mountain (unrelated to Taos Systems) did a port of
> GCC for IDT to the IDT MIPS R5000, but have never merged their sources back
> with the FSF.  We find ourselves at a competitive disadvantage relative to
> these companies because these companies manage to avoid the software
> development costs Cygnus has to pay.
> We want to make Cygwin32 widely available, because we want to maximum number
> of people that have access to it, and are able to extend and modify it.  We
> believe that doing this will improve Cygwin32 both in terms of its quality
> and features, and you are encouraged to return any changes you make to
> Cygwin32 to Cygnus for inclusion in a future release.  On the other hand we
> feel our direct competitors in the embedded tools space should not be able
> to take Cygwin32, which we developed, and use it to compete directly with
> us.  We hope the new Cygwin32 licensing terms will meet our goals.
>                                              Gordon Irlam
>                                              (gordoni@cygnus.com)
>                                              Technical Product Manager
>                                              Cygnus Solutions
> - -
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> ------- End of Forwarded Message

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