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Re: Win CE port

From: Dalibor Topic
Subject: Re: Win CE port
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2006 16:29:27 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.7 (X11/20051013)

Philippe Laporte wrote:
It is our understanding that a GPL VM can't be freely redistributed in a commercial product.

You can use and redistribute a GPLd VM, just like how you can use or redistribute GNU/Linux in products. You need to comply with the provisions of the GPL for the code you license from third parties under the GPL, of course, be it a VM or the Linux kernel, but that part is the same for any code under any license.

If you have questions and doubts regarding the precise legal effects of the GPL in your situation, a wise choice is to ask a lawyer familar with the GPL, like FSF's GPL-compliance lab, or, if you are interested in the opinion of the people whose code you intend to use, you should ask the affected projects, who may be familar with your use case.

That being said, if using a LGPLd VM works well for you, by all means just use that.

Since I've talked with you recently on the Kaffe lists, I assume the GPLd VM in this case is Kaffe, so I'll add that distributing a build of Kaffe for Windows CE is fine, as long as you follow GPL's provisions regarding the redistribution (i.e. all users receiving the executables from you can get the source code for that particular Kaffe build with all your patches and extensions to it).

As Per said, there are cases in embedded software development when external factors make it very hard to follow GPL's provisions, so if you, for example, wanted to inject a GPLd VM directly into the proprietary WinCE kernel, you'd have to clear that with Microsoft first.

I'd additionally suggest making sure that your users understand that the license, which covers your non-GPLd product does not cover the GPLd VM, and vice versa ... so users know they receive two separate products, at least one of which they can use, study, modify and redistribute freely themselves, namely the GPLd VM, in that case.

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