Community
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

License terms for library static linked with ifort

Hi,

I work on some BSD-licensed open source projects, that need to be compiled with fortran.

I'm considering using the Intel Fortran compiler for Windows, but I am not clear on the license terms (sorry if I missed something obvious).

If I build my project linking only to the Intel Fortran runtime libraries, and using static linking, what extra license terms do I have to impose on the users of those binaries?   Can I redistribute those binaries under an untainted BSD license?

Many thanks for your advice,

Matthew

0 Kudos
11 Replies
Highlighted
53 Views

Our End User License Agreement that covers this is at https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/end-user-license-agreement   

Note carefully the restriction against providing our redistributables (the Intel Fortran run-time library that may be linked in or referenced by DLL) under a license that requires source be available or allows disassembly. If I am reading this correctly, the BSD license is ok, but GPL would not be.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

Hi,

Thanks for your answer.  I wasn't sure whether the standard EULA covered binaries that were linked statically, but from your answer, it does. That means then, that I am personally liable for Intel's legal fees if someone sues Intel because of my binary? From the EULA:

(e) will indemnify, hold harmless, and defend Intel and its suppliers from and against any
claims or lawsuits, including attorney's fees, that arise or result from Your modifications, 
derivative works or Your distribution of Your Product.

Thanks again,

Matthew

0 Kudos
Highlighted
53 Views

Yes, it does mean that. I think you will find similar "hold harmless" clauses in just about any development product license.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

Thanks for the confirmation.

I'm afraid that's a killer for the projects I'm involved in (scientific Python projects) - we can't reasonably ask the volunteer release manager of our open source projects to subject themselves to that kind of liability.

Best,

Matthew

0 Kudos
Highlighted
53 Views

Do you have alternatives that don't have this risk? Remember that this is if someone sues Intel because of a problem with your application.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

Thanks - yes I understand that this is if someone sues Intel, and I am sure that is very unlikely.  On the other hand, if it did happen, it would likely be disastrous for a the poor release manager.

It does not look like there are any proprietary options that have suitable licenses.

 

0 Kudos
Highlighted
53 Views

And the "non-proprietary" compilers leave you entirely liable as well.  For example, gfortran (under the GPL) has this:

IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MODIFIES AND/OR CONVEYS THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

 

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

I think that quote from the GPL is saying that I cannot sue the makers of gfortran if I suffer from its use.   The BSD license has a very similar clause.  The risk I accept is the risk that gfortran may not work correctly.

For the Intel license, the risk I am taking on is that someone somewhere could sue Intel for damages, exposing me to legal costs with no limit, and over which I have no control.

That risk might be acceptable for a corporation using Fortran, but open source projects usually do not have that kind of financial backing.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Black Belt
53 Views

If your open source project is distributing binaries under the BSD licence, then the end users of your open source project's binaries have agreed that copyright holders or contributors are not liable.  I am not a lawyer, but that doesn't appear to give any more wiggle room (than normal) for end users of your open source project's binaries to turn around and decide that copyright holders or contributors can be liable.

 

 

 

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

I am sure that users of my project would be on very weak legal ground if they tried to sue Intel, but I can't stop them trying to do that, and so I can't stop Intel holding me liable for their legal fees if they do.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Beginner
53 Views

Re-reading - I thought I would add an example.

Let's say a competitor doesn't like my software.  They sue Intel because of a real or fictional bug in my software, knowing that their suit will certainly fail in due course.   Intel hands on the legal fees to me.  So, using Intel's compiler gives my competitors a way to cause me serious financial damage.  Of course the same is not true when using compilers licensed under the GPL or BSD.

0 Kudos