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Arghrano
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Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:20 pm

Hi,
I was a very happy MikroTik user for 2 years now, and was recommending routerBoard hardware to all my friends, and even in technical forums. That is, until now, when I learned that MikroTik deliberately violates GPL without any regrets.
I don't say I would throw away my current router because of this, but it will definitelly be my last MikroTik router. No need to say I will also stop talking about MikroTik to all my techie friends and will not recommend it on forums any more... I just can't do that, I cannot support thieves who feel above the law and ignore basic principles of honesty.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:08 pm

Could you at least name the GPL library used in RouterOS?
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:59 pm

Could you at least name the GPL library used in RouterOS?
Of course, here you go:

e2fsprogs - GPL
linux kernel - GPL
termcap - LGPL
LinuxBIOS - GPL
EtherBoot - GPL
Bochs - LGPL
uClibc - LGPL
SYSLINUX - GPL
BusyBox - GPL
Memtest86 - GPL
cpuburn - GPL
libsvg - LGPL
libsvg-cairo - LGPL
libcroco - LGPL
pango - LGPL
librsvg - LGPL
glib - LGPL
gtk+ - LGPL
 
marrold
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:01 pm

Have you ordered the CD containing the GPL licensed source code, and verified it violates the GPL ?

http://www.mikrotik.com/downloadterms.html
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:43 pm

Have you ordered the CD containing the GPL licensed source code, and verified it violates the GPL ?
http://www.mikrotik.com/downloadterms.html
You mean to say that GPL community is lying deliberately to hurt MikroTik? Because there is (or at least there was) a lot of complaints from GPL fans about MikroTik not releasing source code for modified components under GPL license. Is entire GPL community somehow misinformed? If yes, please, tell me, I'll try to spread the news.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:50 pm

You mean to say that GPL community is lying deliberately to hurt MikroTik? Because there is (or at least there was) a lot of complaints from GPL fans about MikroTik not releasing source code for modified components under GPL license. Is entire GPL community somehow misinformed? If yes, please, tell me, I'll try to spread the news.
What GPL community (especially the "entire GPL community") do you refer to? Who they are? How can I identify them? Who legally represents them? Is each and everyone of them accuse Mikrotik of violating the GPL? Do they have evidence to prove? Do you have any evidence to prove? Have you asked that community to provide you with the evidence? Can you provide a link or in any other way prove that Mikrotik is violating the GPL?

Have you, finally, followed the link provided by marrold above and read what's written there? Have you seen the following text there?
To get a CD with the corresponding source code for the GPL-covered programs in this distribution, wire transfer $45 to MikroTikls SIA, Pernavas 46, Riga, LV-1009, Latvia. Please contact MikroTikls SIA for our current account information and wire transfer instructions. Offer valid for three years from the date of distribution of this software. This CD will only include the source code of the following programs and any non-proprietary programs distributed according to license requirements. This CD will not include MikroTikls proprietary SOFTWARE.
The money they ask should cover the costs of media and shipment, and is explicitly allowed by the GPL.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:03 pm

LGPL allows the use of the library in commercial/proprietary software (without requiring it to be open source), as long as the library itself remains unmodified (and even when it is modified, only the source of the modified library must be open sourced), so with that in mind, your list is down to:

e2fsprogs - GPL
linux kernel - GPL
LinuxBIOS - GPL
EtherBoot - GPL
SYSLINUX - GPL
BusyBox - GPL
Memtest86 - GPL
cpuburn - GPL


And as far as these (and GPL in general) is concerned... Again assuming that these are all used unmodified... It seems lawyers and programmers alike are unclear about the line between a "derivative work" vs. a separate work that uses the original "work", and there's no court precedent in any direction.

IMHO, if anyone of those authors would like for their library to not be part of RouterOS (because MikroTik are not going to just open source RouterOS all of a sudden), why not go the full way?

The author should ask MikroTik to not include the library in future releases, and give them some reasonable deadline until which they should either switch to a different library, remove that component altogether or pay some agreed upon licensing fee. If MikroTik does not comply by the deadline, sue them... And we'll finally have a court precedent based on which future cases will be settled.
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marrold
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:18 pm

Have you ordered the CD containing the GPL licensed source code, and verified it violates the GPL ?
http://www.mikrotik.com/downloadterms.html
You mean to say that GPL community is lying deliberately to hurt MikroTik? Because there is (or at least there was) a lot of complaints from GPL fans about MikroTik not releasing source code for modified components under GPL license. Is entire GPL community somehow misinformed? If yes, please, tell me, I'll try to spread the news.
Can you back this up with sources? I'm not expert, maybe Mikrotik are breaching the GPL. But so far you've not really backed it up with any evidence other than anecdotal.

For all we know, you could me a Ubiquiti employee stirring up trouble.
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:50 pm

MikroTik deliberately violates GPL without any regrets.
If they regrets, would you feel better? :lol:
The troll registered to forum only for this topic.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:28 pm

Yes, it is true that I have registered just for this topic. It's because a friend of mine who also started using MikroTik because of my recommendations recently found out that there are discontent among GPL folks with MikroTik because of GPL violations. He's open source fan, and I advised him to raise awareness about such injustice if he's sure about that. Also, I decided to verify this myself, simply by going straight to you, here.
I have now invited him to join this discussion. If we finally clarify that MikroTik is NOT, in fact, violating any GPL rules, I will be more than happy, because from technical point of view, I have not yet found anything better than MikroTik.
So, let's see where this goes.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:27 pm

Still no actual sources...
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:31 am

Sources are available just as the license states. We have given them out many times, so I can't explain why "all of the GPL community" doesn't know about it.
No answer to your question? How to write posts
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:06 pm

Sources are available just as the license states. We have given them out many times, so I can't explain why "all of the GPL community" doesn't know about it.
The contention here is NOT that you're supposedly not giving sources to open source projects on request.

On a related note, out of curiosity, are those (L)GPL libraries modified at all? Or is RouterOS using those "as is"? I'm asking because, if they're not modified, you giving them out in CDs (as opposed to, I don't know, having them be downloadable from the site) sounds even sillier.


Anyhow, the contention is that you're not giving out the source of RouterOS itself, despite using GPL projects as part of it. Unlike LGPL, GPL requires projects using the library to be open sourced too (and use GPL at that)... Although it doesn't require open sourcing of projects that merely "communicate" with the project (say, via TCP or I/O streams)... And like I said, where exactly is the line between these two is unclear, as you can read in the Wikipedia article for GPL. Apparently, Arghrano and the "entire GPL community" (read: FOSS folk Arghrano is familiar with) argue you've already crossed that line.
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andriys
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:37 pm

Unlike LGPL, GPL requires projects using the library to be open sourced too (and use GPL at that)...
NONE of the GPL projects mentioned in this thread are libraries.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:18 pm

Unlike LGPL, GPL requires projects using the library to be open sourced too (and use GPL at that)...
NONE of the GPL projects mentioned in this thread are libraries.
When I say "library", I'm referring more to the method by which one program is effectively used by another, not to the way it is intended to be used by another.

Two separate executables exchanging data via I/O streams or over a network are clearly two distinct programs, one using the other for a particular purpose.

However, if one program links to another program's source (except the main() file) and the resulting executable is ultimately a single one, then clearly this is one program effectively using another as a library, even though the original program is not intended to be used as a library.

Everything in between is unclear AND it is possible to effectively use a GPL non-library software in such a blurry fashion.


The line with RouterOS in particular is very blurred, because there's a disconnect between the way one uses RouterOS vs. the way RouterOS is physically layout out its files on a HDD. You can only configure RouterOS by MikroTik specific UIs that interact with the other subprograms, but for different reasons, certain components are or aren't laid out as distinct files, communicating with one another by various means, and there's no indication as to how subprograms are laid out, and there's no practical way to tweak or replace the GPL components of RouterOS.

And yet, that very scenario is only explicitly required in GPLv3, i.e. GPLv3 requires that "bundles" that include GPL-ed software must allow the drop-in replacement of the GPLv3 licensed software with a compatible version, or if that's impossible, consider the related piece (the one that makes separation impossible) as a derivative work, and open source that component under GPLv3... With GPLv2, the line is left to be interpreted.
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:57 pm

Guys, my friend registered and apparently started a new topic instead of replying here. Sorry for that, maybe moderators can join these two after it gets approved and we can then continue this discussion along with him, and not through me "by proxy". I'm hoping for MikroTik name to be cleared, so will come back here to check every few days.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:38 pm

The line with RouterOS in particular is very blurred, because there's a disconnect between the way one uses RouterOS vs. the way RouterOS is physically layout out its files on a HDD. You can only configure RouterOS by MikroTik specific UIs that interact with the other subprograms, but for different reasons, certain components are or aren't laid out as distinct files
They are (laid out as a distinct files). You can check it yourself. Mikrotik's NPK packages are, basically, squashfs-alike images. For some reason I was not able to mount them using standard squashfs tools, however they can easily be "unpacked" using 7-zip.
and there's no indication as to how subprograms are laid out, and there's no practical way to tweak or replace the GPL components of RouterOS.
I assume this particular concern only applies to GPLv3. As far as I'm aware RouterOS does not use GPLv3-licensed components.
 
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:13 am

and there's no indication as to how subprograms are laid out, and there's no practical way to tweak or replace the GPL components of RouterOS.
I assume this particular concern only applies to GPLv3. As far as I'm aware RouterOS does not use GPLv3-licensed components.
Right. Being allowed to replace components is only explicitly required in GPLv3, yes.

I only mentioned that to emphasize how opaque RouterOS is about how it uses its subroutines.
The line with RouterOS in particular is very blurred, because there's a disconnect between the way one uses RouterOS vs. the way RouterOS is physically layout out its files on a HDD. You can only configure RouterOS by MikroTik specific UIs that interact with the other subprograms, but for different reasons, certain components are or aren't laid out as distinct files
They are (laid out as a distinct files). You can check it yourself. Mikrotik's NPK packages are, basically, squashfs-alike images. For some reason I was not able to mount them using standard squashfs tools, however they can easily be "unpacked" using 7-zip.
Well, at least on Windows, I'm not able to open the NPK files with 7-Zip (tried that just now...). I'm willing to take your word for it, but apparently, Arghrano and his friend(s) aren't OR they feel that even so, RouterOS is opaque enough to be regarded as a "single program" as opposed to a "bundle" (since GPLv2 is so unclear about that...).
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Re: Why is MikroTik malicously violating GPL

Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:37 pm

Ok, finally got approved :-)
Let's all jump here for actual facts, sources and arguments, on which my (our) original concern is based:
http://forum.mikrotik.com/viewtopic.php ... 95#p501195

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