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Re: [RARv3-project] Hello

From: Magnus Leuthner
Subject: Re: [RARv3-project] Hello
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 20:36:37 +0100

> On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 7:58 PM, Antonio Diaz Diaz <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I am developing an unrar program with a lzip[1]-like user interface. Just
>> now I have already written the interface. ;-)
>> I need to contact someone with a licensed copy of RAR that can create some
>> sample files for me to work on, use in "make check", etc. Do you know of
>> someone able to supply such files?
>> [1] http://www.nongnu.org/lzip/lzip.html
>> Regards,
>> Antonio.

Hi Antonio,

there is a non-free (as in freedom) but free (as in beer, freeware)
unrar implementation that supports RAR version 3. It is open source
(though not free software in the GPL sense, mind you).

Here are some details regarding this confusing situation:


The problem that the FSF has is really simple: There is an open source
implementation of a RAR3 (de)compressor out there, but it cannot be
ethically included in the FSF software library since it is not free
software because of its restricting licence.

I am really confused as to to which extent someone might be allowed to
"be inspired" by the open source implementation while implementing a
free software version of it. How much of the code must actually
differ? Are there patents on some of the mechanisms used that we'd
have to circumvent somehow?

This is such an odd situation :)

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