[ACCEPTED]-Can I use GPL software binaries in commercial environment?-haproxy

Accepted answer
Score: 19

If you're distributing (unmodified) binaries 16 along with a product you ship, then you're 15 required to distribute the source with them, or 14 provide a way for people to request the 13 sources. This is not a situation where you 12 can ignore the GPL, but it's not going to 11 be a real problem for you. The GPL won't 10 infect your proprietary software unless 9 you link to it.

Distributing in this sense 8 means giving (or selling) to customers. If 7 you're just using a distributed (multi-node) system 6 inside your company, then you're entirely 5 in the clear, as yan says.

Incidentally, the 4 GPLv2 (v3 here) is written to be read by non-lawyers. I 3 strongly recommend you take a look at it. If 2 English isn't your first language, translations are 1 available in many languages.

Score: 7

Haproxy is GPLv2, so you can redistribute 48 it in binary form provided you give enough 47 information to the end user about where 46 to fetch the sources to rebuild it. You 45 also need to inform them about the build 44 options / environment, because without them, it's 43 possible that they won't be able to get 42 the same features.

When you have a doubt 41 on those points, keep in mind that the GPL's 40 goal is to ensure that if you disappear, your 39 customers will not be left with a buggy 38 software they can't fix. So you just have 37 to provide them means not to depend on your 36 availability. When you keep that in mind, it's 35 a lot easier to make the right choice. And 34 good faith always counts if you try to make 33 this possible but fail because you've not 32 thought about everything.

Also, keep in mind 31 that whenever you start distributing software, some 30 of your customers will ask for specific 29 changes to better cover their needs. At 28 first you'll refuse but after losing a few 27 customers who all want the exact same minor 26 feature, you'll accept. Then you'll have 25 patched the code and be embarrassed because 24 you won't be able to point the customer 23 to the original site to get the code.

There 22 are two approaches to this : - the patch 21 is of general use and you don't want to 20 maintain it. Just submit it for inclusion 19 into mainstream. If it's accepted, you can 18 update your version and don't need to maintain 17 a patch anymore ; - the patch is too much 16 customer-specific and has no chance of being 15 accepted, then you need to make it available 14 to your customer along with the build instructions 13 so that the customer can still grab the 12 official release, patch it and build it.

One 11 possible typical patch is to remove some 10 names/urls/versions etc in the doc to make 9 it appear cleaner and better integrated 8 with your solution. Removing these information 7 is right if you provide the patch which 6 removes them. That way there's no obfuscation, your 5 changes are transparent.

In any case, if 4 you spot a bug and think you fixed it, you're 3 strongly encouraged to submit it for review, as 2 it's common to fix the consequences instead 1 of the causes.

Score: 5

Another point about the title of your question 6 "Can I use GPL software binaries in commercial 5 environment?" : yes you can and you're even 4 encouraged to do so. The more free software 3 we'll have in commercial environments, the 2 less hassle we'll have to fix issues in 1 production !

Score: 4

If you're not modifying the source and using 2 the binaries, you should be entirely in 1 the clear.

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