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RE: Is CVS free for commercial development?

From: Peter Ring
Subject: RE: Is CVS free for commercial development?
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 23:45:30 +0200

I was actually thinking of this new Microsoft EULA when I asked. Not that
I'd like to do a non-GPL client; and it would probably be necessary to study
not only the protocol documentation, but also the cvs source code, i.e., it
would be difficult to prove that I had not lifted a bit of code from cvs.

Microsoft is under pressure to release source code to Windows (or break up
the company), and have begun talking about 'shared source', which is why you
see so much noise about licenses.

In any case, the requirement in the EULA about not using 'viral' software
will be quite difficult to enforce in practice. I think it is a rather
defensive move.

Kind regards
Peter Ring

-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden Behalf Of
Matthew Riechers
Sent: Monday, 25 June, 2001 8:45 PM
To: address@hidden
Subject: Re: Is CVS free for commercial development?

Lan Barnes wrote:
> Matthew Riechers wrote:
> >
> > Peter Ring wrote:
> > >
> > > PS: I wonder whether a cvs client could be developed in a fashion that
> > > make it not subject to the terms of GPL? This might be useful for
> > > interfacing non-GPL (BSD-style absolutely-no-strings-attached or more
> > > proprietary) software to cvs repositories.
> >
> > As long as the client doesn't link directly to cvs code, you are ok. You
> > would either have to write your own code to handle the connection
> > protocol, or implement it as a simple wrapper to the cvs binary.
> >
> I fail to see why anyone would want to do that. Go to
> and read the GPL (or even better, have your lawyer read it). Yes, CVS is
> GPL and so are many of its clients, but this fact has absolutely no effect
> on the license status of any software source maintained in a CVS
> repository. So writing a new client just to be something other than GPL
> makes no sense.

Exactly. The license of the client is irrelevant, especially when it's
just a command-line wrapper. There *are* programs that fall into this
catagory (to answer Peter's original query): UltraEdit, Visual
SlickEdit, Visual Studio, etc. The licenses of the clients in these
cases are proprietary, but who cares? It doesn't have any *added value*
feature that "embraces-and-extends" CVS; it just calls a program and
captures the output in a useful way.

> {NB: IANAL, but recent stories on /. and elsewhere indicate that the
> Microsoft EULA for the .NET SDK may forbid the use of GPL software tools
> conjunction with the SDK. If this is true and is enforceable, then using
> CVS or its GPL'ed front ends for archiving your own .NET SDK source code
> may violate your EULA.}

IANAL either... BTW, how many lawyers *are* on this list? :)

M$ seems to be trying to do an end-run around non-M$ licenses, by
bringing two otherwise disjoint things (code, storage mechanism) under
the same tool/system/license. So now I can't use my (possibly homegrown)
GPL'd [place utility here] to develop with a M$ SDK?!? This *could* have
an effect on how even simple intefaces (like the ones described above)
are handled legally. *shudder*


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