Windows: proprietary DLL in the package
Closed, InvalidPublic

Description

System Information
Windows 7 Professional in VirtualBox

Blender Version
2.77a 64-bit

Short description of error
Proprietary msvcp120.dll and msvcr120.dll are included in the free software pakage

Exact steps for others to reproduce the error
Proprietary msvcp120.dll and msvcr120.dll are included in the free software pakage http://ftp.halifax.rwth-aachen.de/blender/release/Blender2.77/blender-2.77a-windows64.zip
Isn't it a GPL license violation ?
Blender installer should instead test if Microsoft VC++ is installed and if not, download and install it separately, like HexChat, PHPServer, Shareaza, Wings 3D... are doing.
I would like to keep Blender in the next version of my free softwares compilation (http://www.numopen.fr/compilibre-en) but I can't until DLL are installed separately.

Details

Type
Bug
David VANTYGHEM (NumOpen) updated the task description. (Show Details)
David VANTYGHEM (NumOpen) raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
David VANTYGHEM (NumOpen) set Type to Bug.
Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) renamed this task from Proprietary dll in the package to Proprietary DLL in the package.Apr 11 2016, 11:02 AM
Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) triaged this task as Normal priority.
Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) renamed this task from Proprietary DLL in the package to Windows: proprietary DLL in the package.

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#WindowsRuntimeAndGPL

"You may not distribute these libraries in compiled DLL form with the program.
To prevent unscrupulous distributors from trying to use the System Library
exception as a loophole, the GPL says that libraries can only qualify as System
Libraries as long as they're not distributed with the program itself. If you
distribute the DLLs with the program, they won't be eligible for this exception
anymore; then the only way to comply with the GPL would be to provide their
source code, which you are unable to do."

That is an interesting topic. Until now we have followed this FAQ statement: (much older than the one you quote)
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#SystemLibraryException

According to me we give users a fair service by not requiring them to install additional system libraries.
Blender has no dependency on the dll, it's the compiler that requires it. The spirit and original meaning of having Blender a Free Software is not affected in any way. We talk about MS Windows, not Linux :)

Further, the FAQ on the FSF is not the real license, it's an interpretation of the license. I would be curious to know why they are so strict here. I don't see "loopholes". I just see a too strict interpretation to pester users of nonfree environments.

If you like to help digging into it further, where in the actual GPL license do you read we can't do it?
And: can't we just define this to be an acceptable exception clause, to be added to the binary windows distribution only?

I think you should ask to FSF, they are the best people to answer about this point.
Anyway, I think it's not a fair service to include DLL in the package because users don't know it. Any users prefer to know and control what is installed on their computer. So, an installer that tests if the same or a more recent version of VC++ is already installed and if not, downloads and installs it is the best choice. During the installation, the user has the choice of cancelling the installation. And after the installation, users can look at the list of installed programs and keep only the last version of the installed VC++. It's clean and transparent.
PHPServer, Shareaza with VC++ and other softwares with JAVA/Zulu/OpenJDK are making this correctly. Most of the professional proprietary softwares are making this too.

This comment was removed by David VANTYGHEM (NumOpen).

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#WindowsRuntimeAndGPL is a recommandation of the FSF, it's a reference and a rule that must be followed if you use a GPL v2 or v3 license.
If you distribute a DLL into your software, it is then not considered as a system library and you must add its source code. That's impossible to add the source code of Microsoft DLL, so you can not include them in the installer.

Blender does not require an installer, the runtime is not being installed if you use Blender.
An important core principle we follow is to not (require to) change your operating system or environment to use Blender.

Anyway, I know the FAQ is very clear about it. I still would prefer if you ask the FSF or investigate the license. We already do this for 5 years and no harm has been done to anyone because of it.

Hi, Scribus developer here. We got a similar issue which can be viewed here:
https://bugs.scribus.net/view.php?id=13932

For your information here are a few links which says things differently than the provided link (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#WindowsRuntimeAndGPL) :

"The new definition also makes it clear that you can combine GPLed software with GPL-incompatible System Libraries, such as OpenSolaris' C library, and distribute them both together. These changes will make life easier for free software distributors who want to provide these combinations to their users."

Here's the answer of the FSF :

Hello,

Thank you for writing.

We are not able to provide an answer or advice on specific programs.
What we can do is provide you with some general information that may be
helpful to you when considering your own situation. In general if you
distribute a program and a library together, and they are designed to
run together, that is usually considered distributing a single work and
not an aggregate of separate works.

If you do not distribute the library along with the GPL-licensed
program, then it may or may not be the case that even if the two
programs, when run, form a single combined work, that you need to
provide the corresponding source for the library.

In the case of GPLv2 the situation where you do not need to provide the
source for the library is outlined in Section 3 where it states:
"However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not
include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or
binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of
the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
itself accompanies the executable. "

In GPLv3 provides a much broader exception is provided in the way it
defines System Libraries and Corresponding source, which are as follows:

"The “System Libraries” of an executable work include anything, other
than the work as a whole, that (a) is included in the normal form of
packaging a Major Component, but which is not part of that Major
Component, and (b) serves only to enable use of the work with that Major
Component, or to implement a Standard Interface for which an
implementation is available to the public in source code form. A “Major
Component”, in this context, means a major essential component (kernel,
window system, and so on) of the specific operating system (if any) on
which the executable work runs, or a compiler used to produce the work,
or an object code interpreter used to run it."

"The “Corresponding Source” for a work in object code form means all the
source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work)
run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control
those activities. However, it does not include the work's System
Libraries, or general-purpose tools or generally available free programs
which are used unmodified in performing those activities but which are
not part of the work. For example, Corresponding Source includes
interface definition files associated with source files for the work,
and the source code for shared libraries and dynamically linked
subprograms that the work is specifically designed to require, such as
by intimate data communication or control flow between those subprograms
and other parts of the work."

I hope that you have found this information useful. Please let us know
if there is any other info that would be of help to you.

Best,

Josh

Joshua Gay
Licensing & Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
http://www.fsf.org/licensing

Paging @Ton Roosendaal (ton) and @Martijn Berger (juicyfruit)

FSF already give a reply. Keep the dll and close this bug or remove dll and move this to TODO?

Given the FSF reply and links in T48109#369234, I think we can safely close this.