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Old 10-08-2004, 12:07 PM   #1
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This software violates the GPL -- What do I do?

I'm learning a new language, Esperanto ( it's an international auxiliary language), and I found some great software that teaches it in a 12-lesson course. It's called "Kurso de Esperanto", and is available by doing a google search for it (the site ends in; I can't post URL's). I tried it on Windows, works great, but when I tried it on Linux, I couldn't get any sounds to play. "No problem," I say to myself, "I'll just modify the source code to get it to work." When the Linux version starts up, it displays a message that says that the software was built with Borland Kylix, and must be licensed under the GPL. Well, it doesn't look like they bothered with that. There's no source code, and no copy of the GPL in the .tar.gz or on the web site. I sent them a very polite message using a form on their web page, informing them of the terms of the GPL, and, if they didn't post the source code within two weeks, I'd notify Borland (I tried to state this as politely as I could). I just want to know if there are any other steps I should take to get the matter resolved quickly and quietly.

Thanks in advance,
Old 10-08-2004, 01:20 PM   #2
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if they don't respond, maybe try contacting the Free Software Foundation?
Old 10-13-2004, 07:32 PM   #3
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If they don't respond, would it be a violation of the GPL to write a free clone of their software (giving them credit)?
Old 10-13-2004, 08:58 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
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Yeah. If they don't license under GPL, but use GPL components they are breaking the license. If you take thier code (whatever license it may be), and rebrand it, you're breaking THIER license, which puts you in an actionable position. Of course no court in the world would convict of breaking a broken license, but if they decide to sue, you'll need to GO to court. Is that something you want?

EDIT: Sorry, it's not a violation of GPL, but thier software is not licensed under GPL (as you tell it), even though it should be. If it's not GPL, you can't just take thier code and rebrand it.
Old 10-13-2004, 10:56 PM   #5
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Gee - if you wanted their help, maybe you shouldn't have threatened them......

1) If they state it's GPL on their site, I'd get a snapshot of the computer with
the claim on their site, just for poops and grins

2) What about reverse engineering - not that I advocate that in any way...


Old 10-15-2004, 11:12 PM   #6
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Sorry, I guess I didn't explain it well enough.

Post Modern - They don't make mention of any license on their site, they only say that it's free software (which could mean many things). I don't want them to help me, I want to help them, but it did anger me that they would try and conceal the fact that their software is GPL. The only way I knew it was supposed to be GPL was a notice in the program put there by the compiler stating that it had to be licensed under the GPL. I certainly don't want to reverse engineer their program, since I could probably code something as good or better, if I may say so myself.

evilmonkey - If I understand the GPL correctly, their software is GPL. Period. Apparently I sounded like it wasn't actually licensed under the GPL. It is, whether they like it or not. It's one of the terms of the compiler they used. If they are using a different license (of which they make no mention on their web site), and it conflicts with the GPL, they can't distribute the software. I would certainly not rebrand their code, and would give them plenty of credit. Besides, if they would release their code, there would be no reason for me to write a clone. What I needed was the text. I was going to put the same text in a new program. Besides, I've been itching for an excuse to try Mono C#, especially since no porting would be needed. Would this violate the GPL?

Thanks to all of you,

P.S. I hope my posts aren't too long...


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