Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4600 mails)
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Re: [SLE] GPL Issues
- From: expatriate <lbox@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2004 23:46:02 +0000
- Message-id: <401060BA.7050705@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Anders Johansson wrote:
On Thursday 22 January 2004 19:04, expatriate wrote:
I'm going to embark on a project that will require me to butt heads with
some high-level kahunas regarding Linux. I work for a very very big
company that has enormous clout but is not as risk-taking as I would
like them to be. Anyway my question is: If we decide to use a standard
distribution of Linux, are we forced to publish our own source code if
we statically or dynamically link to GPL libraries, use gcc to compile
and use GPL header files?
First of all, you only have to publish source for anything if you distribute the programs you develop. If you just use things in-house there is nothing in the GPL that requires you to distribute anything under any circumstances
Having said that, if you do link a product you develop either statically or dynamically to GPL licensed libraries, then yes, you have to distribute the source for your code. This is why a lot of libraries are licensed under the LGPL, which doesn't have this requirement.
Either way though, you'd only have to distribute the source to the people who buy/download your software.
If you just use gcc to develop your source, and not use any GPLed code in any other way, there is also no requirement to GPL your own code. This is all explained in the GPL FAQ at www.gnu.org
I'm getting different answers from different sources. We are not planning to change the kernel in any way.
Maybe create our own drivers for proprietary hardware and install them
Again, if you just use things for your own benefit and don't distribute things to others, the GPL places no requirements on you whatsoever.
OK. I think I get the point . This may not be a battle I can win. Now I need to find out what libraries are LGPL. We manufacture high-precision multi-million dollar equipment and our clients are not at all interested in the source code. However, our competitors might be and it would not be good for us to reveal the source code to them (via the usual shenanigans of employee/vendor revolving doors). It seems to me that if we develop a million-line program that uses pthreads we are forced to release the entire source to our vendors. Check mate from our legal department.
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