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Re: [Help-gsl] HiCalc Source Code

From: Dr. David Kirkby
Subject: Re: [Help-gsl] HiCalc Source Code
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 20:55:38 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; SunOS sun4u; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20060120

abienguyen wrote:
 Dear Sir

We use a part of GSL library system in our product. Moreover, in the
copyright of product, we have also mentioned the part that we have used (the
engine of integral calculation and complex number. In fact, we have some 
on languages because we are not native English. Thus, when receiving the
email from Dr. David Kirkby, we really hope for your comments and advices on
how to use some functions of GSL without breaking the law of copyright.

The fact remains that you have already broken the copyright. The source should have been released when you started distributing HiCalc. The *only* way now is to release the full source code needed to build HiCalc. That is *not* limited to the bits that use GSL code, but it must be the full source code. That is a simple fact.

So when you release the source, the GPL has been complied with and you can continue to sell the product.

Of course you may not do that, but you would not be the first to be in court over contravention of the GPL license.

I think given the GSL is a GNU project and they developed the license, it would reflect very badly on GNU if they did not take action if the license continues to be violated. So I hope you do the right thing and release the source.

As for future releases if you remove the GPL'ed code you can make HiCalc closed-source again. There are free versions of most if not all of the algorithms that are available without the copyright restrictions of the GPL.

Note that there is nothing to stop you continuing to sell a product with GPL'ed code in it. Many companies do this - selling support, extra functionality etc. I've made money from the release of ATLC

despite the fact anyone can build the program from source code. That is GPL'ed.

Linux is probably the most obvious example - Redhat have become very rich on Linux and they would have to distribute the source for much of it.

Our product is now available at

Just a comment about the program - nothing to do with the GPL issue.

Some parts are good as a scientific calculator, but some parts just seem a waste of space. I don't think having a "tip calculator" to work out how much people need to pay in tips at a restaurant is very useful for a scientific calculator. (Correct me if I am wrong on that one - it might be another calculator I tried).

Likewise for the biorhythms. Why not make your next version a scientific calculator and remove rubbish? (Perhaps call it a professional version). I think it degrades the product rather an enhances it. If I'm that stupid I can't work out how to split a tip in a restaurant I doubt I would need a scientific calculator.

We always appreciate comments and ideas from users worldwide, especially
your current remark and advice. Thanks for your useful comments.

You are welcome. I hope you understand that many devote a lot of time to producing software they release under the GPL, so feel quite strongly that the license should be adhered to. I'm one such person, as you are obviously aware.

Dr. David Kirkby

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