[sldev] GPL issues....

Michael Schlenker schlenk at uni-oldenburg.de
Fri Aug 15 14:39:12 PDT 2008

Am 15.08.2008 um 14:38 schrieb Gareth Nelson:

> It appears that Henri Beauchamp believes the viewer is not licensed
> under the GPL. I have had a lot of corrospondence with him over his
> distribution of binaries without matching source code (he only
> provides patches and a link to the upstream source, the job of merging
> the patches to get the same binary build is left up to the end user).
Which is a rather small task compared with setting up a working build
environment for the viewer. Just some wget calls and maybe an invocation
of patch.

> What's the word on this? Will we see active GPL enforcement from LL?
> Does a contributor want to help out with this? If anyone with a patch
> in the source wants to help out enforcing this please contact
> me.

I personally would think enforcing the GPL strictly like you advocate
it here is mostly silly for this case. Sure you have a marginally valid
point that the GPL mandates full source if you distribute binaries. So,
the easy solution for most 3rd party viewers would be to just stop
distributing binaries and just providing the patch files..., better for
ISP quotas, GPL zealots and all people are happy.

Sadly this misses the point for most users of those 3rd Party viewers.
I doubt 10% of them are capable to compile the viewer themselves,  
if not using GNU Linux where most of the toolchain is easily installed.

I agree that strict enforcement is a good thing if your dealing with  
commercial interest, like the typical router manufacturer using GNU  
Linux and
not publishing full source or any source at all etc.

But in this case you mostly annoy people with it for no reason other  
GPL fanatism, for a project thats dual licensed anyway. Whats next?  
all patches posted to JIRA be declared GPL only to force Linden labs  
to fork
the commercial and GPL trees?

I would understand it if you were personally involved in the  
'contributors' list,
but at least i cannot find your name in linden/doc/contributions.txt.

IANAL but one can read the GPL in a way that Henri complies to the  
GPL..., he provides
the source of his patches, and the source in one place as required by  
the GPL. You might
argue that a link to a different server is not 'in one place' but  
thats arguable.
A patch surely fullfills the GPL clauses about 'standard format' and  
patch and wget, which
you need to get it working is included with Henris OS usually, so not  
a problem either.
He surely is in compliance with the targets of the GPL as stated in  
the preamble.


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