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[Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
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Date: 2001-11-11 (12:02)
From: Sven <luther@d...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
On Fri, Nov 09, 2001 at 10:13:41AM -0500, Patrick M Doane wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Nov 2001, Sven wrote:
> > On Thu, Nov 08, 2001 at 11:30:56PM -0500, Patrick M Doane wrote:
> >
> > No, the worse that happens is that you must distribute the .cmo, .cmi, .cmx,
> > and possibly .o, hopefully with a working makefile, but this last one is not
> > demanded.
> As mentioned before - I don't think this is true. The LGPL is very clear
> that the user must be able to modify the work (i.e. the application and
> not the library). This is not possible to do with .cm[iox] files.

Please reread the stuff carefully, or if you are not able to understand it,
search for legal advice, or ask the FSF or someone such who has knowledge in
open source licences about it.

In this case, the right that the LGPL gives to the user is to modify the work
(the LPGLed library) and to relink your app with it. Why would you want to
stripe us of that right ? And despite what Xavier does say, it is no a silly
restriction, it guarantees the user that they are ever able to correct bugs in
the LGPLed library, and that all the bugs in your app are originated from you,
and not the ocaml compiler suite.

> Also, I still must permit users to reverse engineer my application.
> It is standard practice to strip an executable of all symbols to prevent
> users from snooping around in the code.  Even if all I had to do was
> include object files, the names of identifiers would still be intact.

Reverse engineering is legal in many european countries, ...

And anyway, there is no way you can take to completely stop reverse

Tell me, what application do you want to write that you are so afraid people
will reverse engineer ?

Often it is less expensive to rewrite the program from scratch than to do
reverse engineering, and anyway, maybe it is even cheaper to buy it from you.

The only viable reason for reverse engineering would be if you don't provide
adequate support for your stuff, inspecial if you don't provide binaries that
are portable to the arch i am using, or if you don't bother to correct bugs or
other such stuff.

And in these cases, you get what you deserve, and if you want it for less
recomendable reasons, then you have no sympathy from me.

Please think again about it, and see if it really is that important for you,
and if yes, i am sure you can negotiate a proper arrangement with the ocaml
copyright holders.

> > The reason for that, in the C context (you need the .o only), is so if you
> > link with a buggy version of the LGPLed library, your client, or whatever, can
> > correct the LGPLed library, or grab a fixed version from the net, and rebuild
> > your app without the bug.
> This is a good goal - but it's not what the LPGL says.

Yes, it is, the FSF has spent  a lot of ressource with lawyers to ensure that,
thus the seemingly obscure legalistic wordings, but it says that.

> > Is this still unaceptable, or do you think this clarification will be ok with
> > you ?
> It may be acceptable to me, but probably not for my employeer or clients
> who work in vertical markets that are very sensitive about proprietary
> information.

Mmm, ...

Is it because there are real fears, or because they are just misinformed, as
clearly you are only, ...

Perhaps did they receive the visit from some of those MS FUd spreaders trying
to remove confidence into the opensource movement, and saying that in the end,
going opensource will be more expensive than paying millions to MS for
software licences ? The 20 Million US$ saving of for going with
linux notwithstanding ?


Sven Luther
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