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[Helyx OS] How can HELYX-Core be based on OpenFOAM?

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Old   December 30, 2019, 18:08
Default How can HELYX-Core be based on OpenFOAM?
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HPE
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Hi,

I know that this is not an OpenFOAM bug, yet appears to me as a bug in OpenFOAM's communal/commercial usage.

My question is the following:

HELYX-Core software from ENGYS is based on OpenFOAM libraries and other open-source software. HELYX-Core, as stated in their website, is claimed to be an "open-source CFD simulation engine."

The problem is that HELYX-Core is not actually "open-source" (at least to my knowledge). At least not open to the public, but whoever pays for it, and promises not to share with anyone else (at least to my understanding - if I am wrong, I am more than happy to be corrected).

OpenFOAM's license is GPL3, whose one of the 'must's is the 'disclosure of source'. GPL3 allows one to keep her modifications to herself, if desired. Fair enough. But, could anyone please explain to me, how can a GPL3 code be passed to another commercial entity without any disclosure to the public?

For example, foam-extend passes their contribution to the community. I haven't seen a single commit from HELYX-Core. What am I missing?

Kind regards

EDIT: Could one of the moderators carry this thread to the "Community Contributions" subforum please?
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Old   January 1, 2020, 03:07
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A tiny note from my side: I might be wrong in my entire set of assumptions regarding HELYX-Core. So if someone, or even the company, would kindly explain this, since we are in open-source realm - so this question might be transperantly discussed here, I am more than happy to write "corrections" and "degenation" to my writings (and I am really really hoping that I am wrong in my assumptions.).
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Old   January 1, 2020, 03:45
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I am a bit curious person, so I have raised a generic question in stackexchange (a hypothetical scenario):

https://opensource.stackexchange.com/q/9175/16900

An answer for such a hypothetical question, is as follows:

"The GPLv3 is very clear about this situation. It is explicitly disallowed by sections 7 and 10.

Section 10 clearly states that the restrictions imposed by the separate contract with "GRILL" are a violation of the GPLv3 license they are holding on "Choc". However, only the copyright holders of GPL code used by "GRILL" can start a lawsuit to get "GRILL" to stop this practice.

If somebody decides to ignore the separate contract and distribute "Kota" regardless, then section 7 allows them to do the distribution under the plain GPLv3 without the additional terms.

A note of caution is required here: I can easily imagine that the person/company redistributing "Kota" will get sued by "GRILL" for breaking that separate contract and that a judge would award quite significant damages to be paid to "GRILL"."

Thanks.
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Old   January 1, 2020, 18:07
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Greetings HPE,

This question has been raised in the past, let me see if I can find it... OK, so a bit of Googling:
The GNU Foundation has an FAQ for GPL: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html


In a very quick nutshell:
  1. Software developed whose source code uses a GPL license, must allow the end-users who use the binaries, to be able to access the source code somehow.
  2. It is possible to sell GPL licensed software: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html
  3. And I always have a hard time finding it, but there should be an entry in the FAQ indicating that the source code can be made available for the same price as the binaries at a maximum limit.
  4. There should be no NDA associated to the source code made available for a fee, but if you're paying a large amount of money yearly, it feels a bit weird to share the source code on a side door...
  5. The critical detail here is that open source means that the source code is made available as a service, not as a product; if you want the software to be maintained and improved, you should keep in mind that it does cost money/time to develop the maintenance and improvements.
Best regards,
Bruno
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Old   January 2, 2020, 07:06
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Thank you very much wyldckat, very helpful indeed.

Quote:
There should be no NDA associated to the source code made available for a fee, but if you're paying a large amount of money yearly, it feels a bit weird to share the source code on a side door...
In addition, I have read the managing director's statement in the link you have given:

Quote:
Certainly, the software in question is (to the best of our knowledge) 100% compliant with the GPL and applicable copyright law (i.e. there is no miss-attribution, obfuscation, NDAs , binary-only demos or any other funny business).
So, my key presumption that an NDA or a sort of NDA is signed by the client was wrong.

Now, everything fits nicely into place.

Many thanks.
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Old   June 26, 2020, 05:30
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My evolving understanding in this matter is this:

- HELYX is an open-source software, but HELYX is not open-access software.

Accordingly, in order to clarify the definition of the terms to myself, I have consulted the stackexchange community with a new question: Does "open source" always mean "open access"?.
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Old   June 26, 2020, 08:22
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To the above question, there appears an excellent answer by "MadHatter":

Answer to "Does “open source” always mean “open access”?"

This part of the answer is interesting:

Quote:
...
nor may they try to prevent you from using and/or redistributing it under GPLv3 (ss 4, 5c).
...
If a distributor charges too much money for a copy of the software, potential users may club together to buy a single copy, which they then all lawfully share, and usually it makes its way out into the wider world.
Therefore, any customer of HELYX can open the source code to the public without any law infringement if they want, (incorrect, see below -->) since GPLv3 completely forbids non-disclosure agreements on the GPLv3-code (<-- incorrect, see below) (i.e. customers cannot be asked not to release the purchased GPLv3 source code).

Interesting.

PS: "MadHatter" corrected one of the remarks above:

Quote:
having read those, I note with respect to your comment therein "GPLv3 completely forbids non-disclosure agreements" that GPLv3 s7 doesn't so much forbid them as give you clear permission to ignore them.

Last edited by HPE; June 28, 2020 at 05:34.
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