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Re: [Qemu-devel] Help needed - LGPL Violation and Legal Threats

From: Stefan Weil
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] Help needed - LGPL Violation and Legal Threats
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:04:50 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.2.0

Am 02.11.2014 um 03:28 schrieb Tom Cain:
> G'day QEMU wizards,
> I've recently been made aware of an organization that seems to be pretty
> actively sending out nastygrams to people who redistribute their
> software which is a QEMU derivative.
> It was my understanding that current versions of QEMU full system
> emulation are GPL, and older versions (0.8.1) were LGPL.
> The executables that this company distributes are not distributed with
> the source, and the company has refused to release the source code upon
> request, and has threatened legal action to all of those who host these
> files on their websites.
> My binary analysis shows that this is QEMU-0.8.1, can anyone confirm?
> http://bigguyspinball.com/nucoresupport.shtml
> If so, it appears that this website is committing copyright infringement
> by violating the terms of the LGPL.
> Any insight would be appreciated! I've communicated with the FSF and the
> Software Freedom Conservancy, and they agree that hypothetically it is a
> violation. I just need someone to confirm that the contents of that
> linux binary are QEMU. From the looks of it, if this company is filing
> lawsuits, it puts a MAJOR damper on the open source community, so any
> help is appreciated.
> Thank you all!
> Tom

Hello Tom,

nucore is a Linux executable. It includes many QEMU related strings and
other indicators for QEMU code:

$ strings nucore | grep -i qemu | wc
     44     494    3740

Among those strings, two show the version 0.8.1:

$ strings nucore | fgrep 0.8.1
QEMU 0.8.1
QEMU Virtual CPU version 0.8.1

The license information for QEMU 0.8.1 is here:


That license text clearly states that LGPL applies to the system emulation.


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