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Re: [Qemu-devel] Re: Sponsorship for QEMU Developers...

From: Jim C. Brown
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] Re: Sponsorship for QEMU Developers...
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2005 22:47:37 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Sat, Mar 05, 2005 at 07:32:51PM -0800, John R. Hogerhuis wrote:
> Leo,
> I don't think anyone is accusing you of attempting to steal QEMU. You
> are in fact, graciously making an offer to support development and are
> being honest and open about your intent. That's fantastic.


> I think the problem that Robert is referring to is that by turning QEMU
> into a shared library, and linking that library into your closed source
> code, you are (albeit dynamically) linking your closed source code to
> GPLed code. In such a situation, you could, say, distribute your work by
> itself, and have users download QEMU on their own. Otherwise, since you
> are linking to the code (directly or indirectly, it doesn't matter), you
> are prevented by the GPL from shipping the combined work unless
> recipients can request and get the source code to *both* the closed
> source parts and QEMU under a GPL license. At least that's the way I
> have come to understand the implications of the GPL.


What Robert overlooked is that QEMU is NOT GPL!!!

Qemu is NOT GPL!!!

Qemu is NOT GPL!!!

Qemu is NOT GPL!!!

qemu-user is GPL. But as Leo stated, he doesn't use qemu-user.

> It just appears to me and probably others that while you are making a
> conscientious effort to avoid doing so, you are in fact "contaminating"
> your code by linking to GPLed code. This is what the LGPL license is
> for, it allows linking to GPLed code. If anyone could just throw a
> wrapper around a GPLed binary and magically make its GPLed'ness
> disappear, there would be no need for the LGPL. Including header files
> would certainly trigger 'linking' provisions of the GPL. *Not* including
> header files doesn't really mean anything. Dynamic linking is still
> linking.

Of course the 2 parts of qemu that he uses (qemu-system-i386 and libqemu)
are under the LGPL and BSD. As you stated, the LGPL means he can link and keep
the linked code closed. BSD is even nicer, as he can modify the code and still
keep it private. (But he didn't do that, even though he could have.)

So legally, he is in the clear.

> One way around this is negotiating directly with the copyright holders
> for a different license. I hope you are able to work something out which
> is in yours and everyone's best interest.
> Good luck, hopefully this makes sense... I'm no lawyer, which is
> information advice is free... do with it what you will.
> -- John.

Infinite complexity begets infinite beauty.
Infinite precision begets infinite perfection.

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