Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by To » Sun, 24 Feb 2002 19:18:41



Hi All,

  Is it possible to develop closed source applications without paying anybody
  and with some clear licensing stuff.

  Which one i should go with RTLinux / RTAI.. ?

  RTAI is under LGPL license, that means [correct me if 'm wrong] i have
  the liberty to fiddle with the RTAI source.

  Well, would be great if someone can jes give the major differences and
  advantages in terms of licensing between these two.

-  Tom

--
Engineering is one of the few professions learned mostly at job.

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by David Laigh » Sun, 24 Feb 2002 20:44:32


Quote:>   RTAI is under LGPL license, that means [correct me if 'm wrong] i have
>   the liberty to fiddle with the RTAI source.

I would be extrememly careful of doing anything commercial based
on code that is under a LGPL license.  As well as requiring you
to make available any changes you make to the supplied code
(maybe not unreasonable), it is quite likely that the LGPL
license will apply to your entire product - Which I presume
is not precisely what you had in mind.

        David

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Joe Chun » Mon, 25 Feb 2002 06:59:14



> >   RTAI is under LGPL license, that means [correct me if 'm wrong] i have
> > the liberty to fiddle with the RTAI source.

> I would be extrememly careful of doing anything commercial based
> on code that is under a LGPL license.  As well as requiring you
> to make available any changes you make to the supplied code
> (maybe not unreasonable), it is quite likely that the LGPL
> license will apply to your entire product - Which I presume
> is not precisely what you had in mind.

>    David

I thought that LGPL allows you to link your code to it w/o having to
release the source code of your product.  Otherwise, commercial solutions
based on Linux would never really work.

GPL is the one that requries you to release your entire code in source.

-jc
--
(apply 'concat (reverse (list "com"
                              (char-to-string 46) "yahoo"
                              (char-to-string 64) "joechung")))

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Leonid Rosenboi » Mon, 25 Feb 2002 15:59:28


This is an extremely interesting subject.

There is one key difference between Linux and embedded applications - on
Linux your proprietary code can be a separate executable file, which allows
you to keep your
proprietary code to yourself, but have to disclose any modifications to the
kernel or library,
because they are within the same binary object with the GPL code.
In embedded, you typically link eveerything into a single binary image, one
needs to very
carefully read the license text to figure out what that really means.
My guess is that if you involve a lawyer, he will tell you that GPL is
extremely dangerous,
but in practice, there is really noone to sue you, the open source community
barely makes
money to maintain the software, so it is highly doubtful that they can
afford littigation.
Still, your investors will side with the lawyers and will regard sloppy GPL
practices gravely.

- Leonid
P.S. WindRiver has got plenty of public source code witnin theur product,
and nobody
sued them this far.



> > >   RTAI is under LGPL license, that means [correct me if 'm wrong] i
have
> > > the liberty to fiddle with the RTAI source.

> > I would be extrememly careful of doing anything commercial based
> > on code that is under a LGPL license.  As well as requiring you
> > to make available any changes you make to the supplied code
> > (maybe not unreasonable), it is quite likely that the LGPL
> > license will apply to your entire product - Which I presume
> > is not precisely what you had in mind.

> > David

> I thought that LGPL allows you to link your code to it w/o having to
> release the source code of your product.  Otherwise, commercial solutions
> based on Linux would never really work.

> GPL is the one that requries you to release your entire code in source.

> -jc
> --
> (apply 'concat (reverse (list "com"
>                               (char-to-string 46) "yahoo"
>                               (char-to-string 64) "joechung")))

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by David Laigh » Tue, 26 Feb 2002 08:22:39



> This is an extremely interesting subject.

> There is one key difference between Linux and embedded applications - on
> Linux your proprietary code can be a separate executable file, which allows
> you to keep your
> proprietary code to yourself, but have to disclose any modifications to the
> kernel or library,
> because they are within the same binary object with the GPL code.

True.

Quote:> In embedded, you typically link eveerything into a single binary image, one
> needs to very
> carefully read the license text to figure out what that really means.
> My guess is that if you involve a lawyer, he will tell you that GPL is
> extremely dangerous,
> but in practice, there is really noone to sue you, the open source community
> barely makes
> money to maintain the software, so it is highly doubtful that they can
> afford littigation.
> Still, your investors will side with the lawyers and will regard sloppy GPL
> practices gravely.

Except that the FSF backs the GPL and LGPL licenses and does have
good lawyers.  As yet no corporation has actually tested whether the
viral nature of LGPL is legal (in the US) - they have all given in
to the FSF.

Quote:> P.S. WindRiver has got plenty of public source code witnin theur product,
> and nobody sued them this far.

I believe most of that is from NetBSD - which is under a different
license which does allow it to be fiddled with....
 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Wolfgang Den » Tue, 26 Feb 2002 09:02:28



>In embedded, you typically link eveerything into a single binary image, one
>needs to very
>carefully read the license text to figure out what that really means.

Let's stick with RTLinux and RTAI here. With  RTAI,  you  don't  link
your  code  into  one  image  with  the  RTAI core modules (which are
GPLed). You just use the API. That's a completely different story.

Read Eben Moglen's statement about this issue (see
http://realtimelinux.org/archives/rtai/200110/0095.html)

Quote:>My guess is that if you involve a lawyer, he will tell you that GPL is
>extremely dangerous,

Hire a better lawyer.

Quote:>P.S. WindRiver has got plenty of public source code witnin theur product,
>and nobody
>sued them this far.

Including GPL code in a commercial product is NO PROBLEM as  long  as
you follow the rules. MANY companies do.

I am pretty sure WRS will give you the sources of  their  C  compiler
(GCC) if you kindly ask for it ;-)

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
Documentation is the castor oil of programming.
Managers know it must be good because the programmers hate it so much.

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Wolfgang Den » Tue, 26 Feb 2002 08:55:57



>  Is it possible to develop closed source applications without paying anybody
>  and with some clear licensing stuff.

Yes.

Quote:>  Which one i should go with RTLinux / RTAI.. ?

Go RTAI.

Quote:>  RTAI is under LGPL license, that means [correct me if 'm wrong] i have
>  the liberty to fiddle with the RTAI source.

The RTAI core is under GPL, which is  necessary  to  avoid  conflicts
with  the  evil  RTLinux  patent  license.  Your  application  is not
affected by this.

Quote:>  Well, would be great if someone can jes give the major differences and
>  advantages in terms of licensing between these two.

RTLinux is under the RTLinux  patent  license.
RTAI is GPL and free.

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
"Do we define evil as the absence of goodness? It seems only  logical
that shit happens--we discover this by the process of elimination."
                                                        -- Larry Wall

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Wolfgang Den » Tue, 26 Feb 2002 08:57:12



>I thought that LGPL allows you to link your code to it w/o having to
>release the source code of your product.  Otherwise, commercial solutions
>based on Linux would never really work.
>GPL is the one that requries you to release your entire code in source.

But you do not actually link your code against any RTAI core modules.
For application code, you just use the API.

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
"There are things that are so serious that you can  only  joke  about
them"                                                    - Heisenberg

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Robert Schwebe » Tue, 26 Feb 2002 05:44:55



> I would be extrememly careful of doing anything commercial based
> on code that is under a LGPL license.  As well as requiring you
> to make available any changes you make to the supplied code
> (maybe not unreasonable), it is quite likely that the LGPL
> license will apply to your entire product - Which I presume
> is not precisely what you had in mind.

If you use LGPL code in you project you have to make it LGPL. If you
just link against a library (for RTAI: rtai_something.o) you can do
whatever you want with your own code.

The question you want to have resolved is: are proprietary Linux modules
allowed or not. Most kernel developers seem to agree that they are
allowed; some do not agree. If you want to have a definite answer ask
your lawyer.

Rober
--  
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
 | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel | http://www.pengutronix.de |
 | Pengutronix - Linux Solutions for Science and Industry |
 |   Braunschweiger Str. 79,  31134 Hildesheim, Germany   |
 |    Phone: +49-5121-28619-0 |  Fax: +49-5121-28619-4    |
 +--------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Thomas Horste » Wed, 27 Feb 2002 02:39:49



Quote:> I would be extrememly careful of doing anything commercial based
> on code that is under a LGPL license.  As well as requiring you
> to make available any changes you make to the supplied code
> (maybe not unreasonable), it is quite likely that the LGPL
> license will apply to your entire product - Which I presume
> is not precisely what you had in mind.

No, the whole purpose of the LGPL license is that, unlike GPL, you can link
it with proprietary code without restrictions. LGPL doesn't "taint" the
linked code.

You must still release the source of any modified LGPL code, though.

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html

// Thomas

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by David Laigh » Wed, 27 Feb 2002 03:19:53





>>I would be extrememly careful of doing anything commercial based
>>on code that is under a LGPL license.  As well as requiring you
>>to make available any changes you make to the supplied code
>>(maybe not unreasonable), it is quite likely that the LGPL
>>license will apply to your entire product - Which I presume
>>is not precisely what you had in mind.

> No, the whole purpose of the LGPL license is that, unlike GPL, you can link
> it with proprietary code without restrictions. LGPL doesn't "taint" the
> linked code.

> You must still release the source of any modified LGPL code, though.

I read the standard GPL license today, I now have a plan :-)

I'm going to write the 'universal' program that does everything
you might want a program to do, and ship it under the GPL.
Now I'll make absolutely sure that it announces that it is
available under the GPL, and put in the relevent commands to
display all the relevant license and copyright stuff.

Of course, the program is supplied 'as is' with no 'fitness for
purpose' implied.  Indeed many people will find it somewhat
buggy and missing important features when they try to use it.

However once someone has looked at my program, absolutely
ANYTHING they write is just a bug fix to it - and hence
covered by the GPL license :-)

Indeed even if they haven't seen my program, it might be difficult
to prove - after all their program will clearly contain large
amounts of my program - and my program claims to do what theirs
actually does.

        David

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by To » Thu, 28 Feb 2002 22:42:42


What if 'm developing a library which uses RTLinux Kernel and
taking an assumption 'm not changing any RTLinux kernel source.
Now i guess i don't neeed to pay any royalty.... As well now can I
release my library either under GPL or Proprietary or wahtever ??


> >  Is it possible to develop closed source applications without paying anybody
> >  and with some clear licensing stuff.

> Yes.

> >  Which one i should go with RTLinux / RTAI.. ?

> Go RTAI.

> >  RTAI is under LGPL license, that means [correct me if 'm wrong] i have
> >  the liberty to fiddle with the RTAI source.

> The RTAI core is under GPL, which is  necessary  to  avoid  conflicts
> with  the  evil  RTLinux  patent  license.  Your  application  is not
> affected by this.

> >  Well, would be great if someone can jes give the major differences and
> >  advantages in terms of licensing between these two.

> RTLinux is under the RTLinux  patent  license.
> RTAI is GPL and free.

> Wolfgang Denk

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Wolfgang Den » Fri, 01 Mar 2002 09:57:51



>What if 'm developing a library which uses RTLinux Kernel and
>taking an assumption 'm not changing any RTLinux kernel source.
>Now i guess i don't neeed to pay any royalty.... As well now can I

You don't want to guess. You want to consult  your  layer.  And  good
luck with the interpretation of the details of the RTL license.

Quote:>release my library either under GPL or Proprietary or wahtever ??

Make it GPL. What else?

Wolfgang Denk

--
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88   Web: www.denx.de
"In the long run, every program becomes rococo, and then rubble."
- Alan Perlis

 
 
 

Licensing Issues in RTLinux and RTAI

Post by Dave Kor » Tue, 05 Mar 2002 22:57:06



Quote:> - Leonid
> P.S. WindRiver has got plenty of public source code witnin theur product,
> and nobody
> sued them this far.

WRS have a licensing agreement from the FSF, and they do give out the source
code to their gnu-derived toolchain (eventually!)

        DaveK
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