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My most recent encounter with WebYog's SqlYog revealed that the vendor has made their Community edition open source, and available on GitHub, however the product still has obtrusive ads in it.

It is clearly licensed under GPL, and although I haven't checked whether the ads are easily removable or contained in one of the included compiled libraries, I'm curious as to their motivations.

Although not something I would do; is there anything inherently wrong with publicly forking and possibly even promoting a project like this given that it is released under GPL, for the sole purpose of removing ads and bloat?

My question of course is not specific to SQLyog, and could extend to other projects, like Ubuntu's (possibly not GPL?) Desktop variant for example, which includes links to Amazon; or FileZilla, which is distributed via SourceForge, and consequently carries all the bonuses of their much-loved downloader.

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Yes, you can do that. The GPL gives you the right to make modifications and distribute these. But considering that this is conflicting with the business interests of the original creators, you can expect that they will see what they can do to stop you. One thing they might try is sue for violation of the "SQLyog" trademark. To protect you from trademark claims, you need to give your software a different name. This makes it harder to promote it as "SQLyog without ads".

  • Thanks for your insight. I had always assumed that GPL applied to the whole product rather than just the code itself, and spent the past couple of evenings researching it further, and you indeed appear to be correct. – Éliette Feb 3 '16 at 2:13

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