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Re: xchat is now shareware in windoze

John Goerzen writes:

> On Wednesday 20 October 2004 08:19 am, Giacomo A. Catenazzi wrote:
> > Hello.
> >
> > Navigating in the xchat site (debian package xchat),
> >
> > I found in http://www.xchat.org/windows/  these sentences:
> >  > Q. Has the license for X-Chat changed?
> >  > A. The Windows version is shareware, however, you may still
> >  > download the source code, released under the G.P.L.
> >
> > Note: source is GPL, but for windoze binaries it is *required*
> > a registration.
> This may be perfectly acceptable.
> Assuming that the sources for the Windows version include all the 
> registration/validation logic, and are distributed under the GPL, 
> providing a compiled binary of them is completely kosher.  Of course, 
> anybody with a compiler could hack out the time limit.
> Now, if the registration/validation logic is not part of those GPL'd 
> sources, then we have a problem.

Briefly perusing the CVS repository on SourceForge, there does not
appear to be any logic for checking the license keys.  The Win32
executable also seems to be linked against a modified version of a
gtk+ library, with no source provided for that (it definitely includes
"minigtk.dll" wand a "gtkrc" file with no explanation of the license
for that).  It also seems to be linked against OpenSSL (it includes
"libeay32.dll and libssl32.dll) without including the copyright
notices required by those licenses.  I know several contributors to
X-Chat have complained about the shareware release and feel that it
infringes their copyrights.

In short, the Windows version seems to blatantly and willfully violate
a number of copyrights.  The maintainer makes it clear he will
continue to redistribute code contributed under the GPL as shareware
(at http://forum.xchat.org/viewtopic.php?t=533).  This does not pose a
direct problem for Debian, since Debian would not be distributing the
Windows shareware version, but Debian may not want to support software
whose authors do things like X-Chat's maintainer has done.

Michael Poole

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