I received the email, reproduced below, requesting a new feature in one of my gpl programs, which this company would then build into one of their closed-source products (see the email for details). And note that they offered to pay me (what I imagine would be a pittance) for the implementation, which I'm guessing is their attempt at a sly way around the gpl. That is, rather than being constrained by their gpl license, once they pay me a single dollar, it's a whole new contractual ball game.
Anyway, I'm not interested, and my reply (top-posted on that email) re-asserts the gpl. So, is this the right/best approach to the situation? In particular, any better wording, or anything else I should have added? And secondly, is there any gnu.org email address I could cc such an email to, simply to establish that they've been explicitly advised that their intended use is prohibited?
Thirdly, in case they proceed anyway, it's not like I have the wherewithal to sue them, or anything. But, if gnu.org is experienced at such things, I'd be more than happy to sign over all my compensation rights to them for one dollar (just to satisfy the "consideration" requirements of contract law). Just seeing this in the email might make the company think twice, but I'm not finding anything on gnu.org relevant to this kind of tactic.
Here's the email...
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2017 03:11:38 -0500 (EST) From: John Forkosh <email@example.com> To: "[iso-8859-2] A" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: mimetex development - new parameter for breaking the line (noautoreply) A, Incorporating mimetex into a closed-source product would be a violation of your gpl license... Mimetex is licensed to you under the gpl, version 3 or later, http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.html as clearly and explicitly discussed on its homepage http://www.forkosh.com/mimetex.html?gpl Mimetex's copyright was registered by me, its sole author, with the US Copyright Office. Effective Date of Registration is Nov. 12, 2002, certificate number TX 5-567-446. You may use mimetex and its documentation in any way that complies with all the terms and conditions of the gpl. Any other use, not compliant with the gpl, is prohibited. John <email@example.com> On Fri, 24 Nov 2017, A wrote: > Hi John, > > Recently we exchanged some email (from my personal > address firstname.lastname@example.org). > Now I'm writing from my company mailbox. > > We would like to implement Mimetex in our product - > software for design and analysis of civil structures, > see [website of product] We want to use it for mathematical formulas > rendering in our outputs - structural caluculation protocols. > > The biggest obstacle we currently see is that sometimes formulas > rendered by mimetex just flows out of the page width because they > are too long. I'd like to ask you whether you could adjust mimetex > so that it would break the line based on the width we would give you > as some new parameter? For example we would call mimetex with really > long fomrula and send you that the rendered picture cannot be widder > that 190mm and in this case you would find the last equal symbol "=" > and break the line in this place. It means that rendered picture would > have more rows and the width would be smaller than value of the new > parameter. Of course we would pay you for this effort. What you think? > > Best regards, A