[Mono-list] The viral license problem (was System.CodeDom.Compiler licensing issues)

James Michael DuPont mdupont777@yahoo.com
Thu, 23 May 2002 16:01:15 -0700 (PDT)

> So, I guess I do have a problem. I'd like to add a
> C# compiler to the 
> scripting engine, that could be embedded into an
> application. *Without* 
> making (a) my own library GPL and (b) the target
> application GPL.  I 
> think that this sort of thing would be a nice
> complement to the mono 
> project as a whole.

I doubt that you will be able to do any of this
without a new version of the GPL, belive me, I have
been in this discussion for over 1 year now.

> Is there going to be a way I can resolve this?
> Special License? 
Maybe a GPLv4?

>Get the 
> mono C# compiler license changed?
I dont think that is a good idea.

> I'm a bit confusled as to why the Compiler itself
> needs to be GPL'd 
> anyway... I mean is there a *fear* that someone may
> take it, extend it 
> and make it commercial without releasing the code to
> it? 
That is exactly what RMS was worried about happening
to the GCC. It can happen very quickly, there is not
firewall anymore and anyone can link in at any point
and get and take data from the compiler at will.

>Really? I can't 
> see how someone would. Seems a little unlikely.
It is not that unlikely at all. 

There are a more than a few commercial projects out
there that would *love* to get thier hands on a free
and tested c# compiler and code generator that the can
just take from and never give back to.

In the course of the introspector project I have had
many discussions with people who dont want to
contribute anything, it really is just take take take.

Free software for most people means that they have no
obligations at all to give back.

The GPL protects honest developers from that type of
abuse, the LGPL does not.

James Michael DuPont

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