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Re: [Xen-users] RE: Does it legal to analysize XEN source code and write a book about it

  • To: Tao Shen <taoshen1983@xxxxxxxxx>
  • From: Nico Kadel-Garcia <nkadel@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 12:50:12 +0100
  • Cc: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Simon Crosby <simon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Delivery-date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 04:44:57 -0700
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  • List-id: Xen user discussion <xen-users.lists.xensource.com>

Tao Shen wrote:

7. Some of the examples in the open source industry right now include: using PostgreSQL based code which is GPL'd, add a non-GPL'd replication suite to it, and call it enterpriseDB. Using PostgreSQL based code, tweak some variables, add some non-GPL'd code (interfaced to the GPL'd one) to do distributed join and call it "bizgres" and "greenplum". MySQL's Enterprise vs Community editions....the examples are all other the place. All of them push the GPL boundary but don't violate it. And what I call the "wrapper GPL" type products, and "dual licensing". No, it's all perfect legal. From an ethics perspective...it's arguable.

Feel free to discuss this as you see fit.

Entire OS's are built this way, such as RHEL with its additional Clustering tools and its RedHat Network management tools. Zmanda does it with the Amanda sotware as well, and there are numerous commercial Nagios and MRTG management toolsets that are not themselves freeware or open source. Tivo does their own special trick of locking down the software so it can't be patched or modified, even though they publish source to GPL tools they change, and that led partly to the changes in GPLv3.

So it's an accepted practice, as long as you don't go over the carefully drawn copyright lines and pull the Netgear trick of "we'll use glibc, modify it, and just not tell anyone."

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