Borland License Loophole? 
Author Message
 Borland License Loophole?

Hi,
I was looking at the license details for my C compiler (Borland) at home
yesterday. Its the usual "like a book" license. At one point it explicity mentions
that different people can use the compiler, on different computers, as long as
it is on a one at a time basis. This got me thinking. What if someone decided
to make a "C compiler server", like these automatic mail servers. You send the
C server your C source, and it sends you back the .obj or .exe file. Make a
queue system, so that requests are serviced one at a time to adhere to the
license.

I'm no lawyer, but I can't see how this is illegal under the wording of the license.
Before I'm blasted with mail, let me be clear. I think if anyone actually did on an
anonymous server, it would be very unethical. I'm guessing that this kind of license
dates from the non networked computer era.

The _idea_ has some merit though. A company could
a) create such a server for old releases of products.
b) create a demo server, and limit its use. e.g., one use for limited size source,
    per senders domain, per week.

The latter is like giving away a demo disk without the cost of the disk.

Lastly, forgive this posting as it not stricly about C per se.

Cheers
JJ



Fri, 21 Feb 1997 17:17:09 GMT  
 Borland License Loophole?
The wording of the license does however conform with the law which allows
the Center for Instructional and Research Computing Activities (CIRCA) at
UF to buy licenses for various programs (not just Borland compilers) and
place them on the Novell network. In turn, a metering program ensures that
no more copies of a program are run than licenses exist.

As far as the queueing program goes, reading further in the license will reveal
that all such programs are NOT the property of Borland. However, as I recall,
and my mind may be a little fuzzy on this point, they output files are the
property of the person/company that owns the product.

As a result, if you use a compiler at CIRCA to compile a program, it is then
illegal to sell that program because it does not belong to you. Other laws
happen to come into play here but that's the jist of it.

Hank



Sun, 23 Feb 1997 22:50:55 GMT  
 Borland License Loophole?

:                                                  they output files are the
: property of the person/company that owns the product.

: As a result, if you use a compiler at CIRCA to compile a program, it is then
: illegal to sell that program because it does not belong to you. Other laws
: happen to come into play here but that's the jist of it.

So if the company owning the licence to run the Borland compiler agrees
to "sell" the compiled program "as is" for a specified price (related to,
say, the time it took to compile the program) to whoever uploaded the
source, then the compiled program would then belong to the person who
paid the fee to have the program compiled.  I don't recall anything in
Borland's license documents forbidding the selling of compiled code.

-- Bill Evans



Mon, 24 Feb 1997 05:50:33 GMT  
 Borland License Loophole?

Quote:

>Hi,
>I was looking at the license details for my C compiler (Borland) at home
>yesterday. Its the usual "like a book" license. At one point it explicity mentions
>that different people can use the compiler, on different computers, as long as
>it is on a one at a time basis. This got me thinking. What if someone decided
>to make a "C compiler server", like these automatic mail servers. You send the
>C server your C source, and it sends you back the .obj or .exe file. Make a
>queue system, so that requests are serviced one at a time to adhere to the
>license.
>I'm no lawyer, but I can't see how this is illegal under the wording of the license.
>Before I'm blasted with mail, let me be clear. I think if anyone actually did on an
>anonymous server, it would be very unethical. I'm guessing that this kind of license
>dates from the non networked computer era.
>The _idea_ has some merit though. A company could
>a) create such a server for old releases of products.
>b) create a demo server, and limit its use. e.g., one use for limited size source,
>    per senders domain, per week.
>The latter is like giving away a demo disk without the cost of the disk.
>Lastly, forgive this posting as it not stricly about C per se.

Oh, I don't know.  It seems to me that you wouldn't have to put it into a
queue.  The user is the owner of the service.  The owner may launch the
executable as often and in as many parallel paths as they want.  If, on the
other hand, you are talking about an organization who wants to compile on
the cheap, then perhaps you are correct.  However, the compiler license is
linked to a particular machine and not to a particular user -- note the
different computers clause -- thus, multiple people can log into a single
computer and use the compiler to their heart's content.  No need for a
fancy queue -- just mount the user's disks on the computer with the compiler
and let'er rip.

Paul E. Ourada



Wed, 26 Feb 1997 06:32:52 GMT  
 Borland License Loophole?

|> : Hi,
|> : I was looking at the license details for my C compiler (Borland) at home
|> : yesterday. Its the usual "like a book" license. At one point it explicity mentions
|> : that different people can use the compiler, on different computers, as long as
|> : it is on a one at a time basis. This got me thinking. What if someone decided
|> : to make a "C compiler server", like these automatic mail servers. You send the
|> : C server your C source, and it sends you back the .obj or .exe file. Make a
|> : queue system, so that requests are serviced one at a time to adhere to the
|> : license.

It's called a "license server", and it's quite common.

The license servers used by various vendors / products do something
similar to what you describe.  The compiler is installed on your
machine (or mounted).  When you invoke the compiler, it contacts the
license server before it will execute.  The license server implements a
queueing mechanism for requests.

Sun's compilers work this way, as do IBM's AIX compilers (at AIX 4.x).
FrameMaker on UNIX does also, as well as lots of other products.

--

Siemens Empros Power Systems Control  (612) 553-4717



Wed, 12 Mar 1997 03:07:36 GMT  
 
 [ 5 post ] 

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