has the LGPL licence fell through ? (forw)

Aric Cyr Aric.Cyr at gmail.com
Wed Dec 21 02:54:47 CST 2005

Joerg Mayer <jmayer <at> loplof.de> writes:

> On Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 07:48:09AM +0000, Aric Cyr wrote:
> > Maybe I'll fire off an email to Turbolinux to see what they have to say,
> > although technically unless I purchase or receive their product I am not
> > directly entitled to the GPL/LGPL code from them.  Anyone have a copy of
> Can you please let me know why you think that?
> ----------------------------
>   2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Library or any portion
>   of it, thus forming a work based on the Library, and copy and
>   distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
>   above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:
>     a) The modified work must itself be a software library.
>     b) You must cause the files modified to carry prominent notices
>     stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
>     c) You must cause the whole of the work to be licensed at no
>     charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.
>   ...
> -------------------------------

You are reading this from the wrong point of view I believe.  The "You" in this
case would be SpecOps Labs.  They implicitly agree to this LGPL license by
modifying hte copyrighted code.

> So I guess if they are using some code of yours that you provided to them under
> LGPL, you are entiteld to request the source. In case this goes to court you'll
> need a copy, but for now it is sufficient to be sure that they are distributing
> a product based on your code which is covered by the LGPL.

Anyone who buys their product, or anyone they give their product to is entitled
to the source code.

>From LGPL section 4 (remember, "You" = SpecOps  Labs):

4. You may copy and distribute the Library (or a portion or derivative of it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1
and 2 above provided that you accompany it with the complete corresponding
machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange.

> Again: It is *you* who granted them the right to use your code, and by putting
> it under LGPL you made sure that you are entitled to any changes they make to
> *the* code once they start distributing your code (or derivatives) to thrid
> parties. That way you can reqeust the changes even when the new product costs

No,that's not the way GPL or LGPL works I'm afraid.

These licenses exist so that the users of the applications, etc will always have
free access to the source code, and the free rights to redistribute it as
necessary.  Their purpose is free speech not free beer.

As Brian said, they are perfectly in their right upto now (as long as there are
no products with Wine code floating around), it's just that they are really
sticking it to the the community and not playing nice.  It is (current)
philisophical, not legal.  When someone gets a copy of David, and SpecOps Labs
refuses to disseminate the code, then it will become legal.

- Aric

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