VMLite - an alternative Windows XP Mode impl

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  1. Posts : 7,878
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64

    DarkPhoenix said:
    If that were true, I could download any open source product and change a few things and sell it as if it were my own.
    Actually, the open source licensing completely allows you to do just this. You absolutely can take something, modify it slightly and sell it to anybody you wish for any price. Or you can give it away.

    The key to open source is that anything you use...and any scenario you use it in (including the above), you must
    1). Make your source code available freely
    2). You cannot further restrict anybody else from taking it and modifying it in any way they wish

    It's these 2 fundamental clauses that completely allows you to take somebody else's work, modify it slightly and then sell it for a profit.

    If you are not willing to comply with these requirements, than you are not allowed to license your software under the open source licensing systems (like the GPL).

    As a perfect example, check out Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This is provided by Red Hat and all of the software is licensed under the GPL. However, they charge for support and updates for their products. For many people, they don't feel they need the support and don't want to pay for updates. Therefore, there are clone versions out there (CentOS is the one that I use). It takes the software that Red Hat uses and simply removes the Red Hat trademark logos and graphics...rebuilds the code with their own images and makes it's available for download. CentOS provides no phone support for their product, instead they rely on the Internet and the community for the support...but they make their updates free of charge. So, they wait for the updates that Red Hat gets and publishes (because the GPL requires it) and then they rebuild them and make them available on CentOS. There is nothing illegal whatsoever in this model. It's the way the game is played. And in the end, I get a product that looks like Red Hat, runs like Red Hat, pretty much follows the Red Hat way of doing things...without having to pay for support (which I don't need).

    DarkPhoenix said:
    XP Mode is intended for Win 7 users, yet this company is telling everyone (even people who did not pay for Windows 7) they can download and use a free fully licened copy of windows XP on any machine - this sounds like stealing to me.
    I agree with you. And XP Mode is only intended for certain Windows 7 users...those who paid for Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate. Nobody else is "entitled" to the free provided copy of Windows XP.
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  2. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter

    (1) we contributed the changes to vbox, and confirm to open source rules. The work behind the scenes are not as simple you you'd think, we have spent last full years building our products. We provide VMLite XP Mode as free, although we could charge any price.

    (2) when we say "XP Mode for any PC", it does not mean you use Microsoft XP Mode on any PC. If you run VMLite on XP or Vista, or W7 Starter/Home/etc. editions, you will find XP Mode download button disabled. So if you want to do XP Mode on these systems, you have to provide your own XP CD, or an existing virtual disk.

    Here is an arcticle, the second to last portion mentioning about Microsoft license:

    VMLite offers to run Windows XP Mode on VirtualBox | virtualization.info
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  3. Posts : 141
    Windows 7

    Guys, I just found out.

    This software may be very illegal. Not because of the Micosoft licensing but because it violates the Virtual Box OSE GPL license it was based on. They are mixing their own closed source with open source and not providing a copy of the source code for download. According to the GPL, this is illegal.

    Also, according to the GLP, in the VMLite software and in documentation, the Virtual Box OSE must be referenced as the application VMLite is based on, and Sun Microsystems must be referenced as the Virtual Box OSE copyright holder. VMLite fails to mention this in the About box. This is another separate violation of the GPL.

    This means VMLite's closed source has no legal standing as well. Microsoft or Sun Microsystems can reverse engineer the closed source and VMLite would not have a legal leg to stand on.

    By modifying and distributing an open source GPL application, you give up your rights to your closed source and must provide a copy of all source code used in the project.

    I am double checking with the GNU people and the Sun Microsystems people who, is the copyright holder for the Virtual Box OSE.

    Read my rant about this here: Does VMLite violate the VBox Open Sourse GPL Lisence? - VMLite

    The GLP license is here: The GNU General Public License - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    and the list of GPL violations to check for is here: Violations of the GNU Licenses - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    I will update this with any information I find.


    I invite you to respond to this.

    According to the information above, the VMLite software does appear to be illegal. If you can tell me exactly Why and How it is Not illegal, I would like you to do that, and your answer must agree with the answer I get from the GNU people and the Sun Microsystems people.

    I do love the product, and I have advertised it to many people.. but I do not want to if your product is illegal.


    VMLite is not offering the full source code because they do not want to release their closed source. The fact that they modified a copy of GPL Virtual Box OSE, means that their product must also remain licensed under the GPL and adhere to it's rules.

    If the product is found to be illegal, I suggest this thread be locked and a warning given about VMLite.
    Last edited by DarkPhoenix; 14 Feb 2010 at 15:14.
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  4. Posts : 4,925
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

    They do also have an option asking if you want to install xp mode.
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  5. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter

    We have contributed our changes to the VirtualBox OSE, the rest is closed source. VMLite is open source plus closed source. we will continue to commit our changes to VirtualBox OSE source code.

    the mini toolbar, some fixes on disk formats, tray app crashes, etc.
    search "Huihong Luo" on VirtualBox source code changelogs, you will see some of our code changes.

    The XPM wizard, and shared folder drivers, startup menu integrations, virtual disk driver, etc., are all closed source.

    Inside the installation folder, there is a file open-source-licenses.txt, that states the open source license, so we didn't remove the OSE license.
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  6. Posts : 4,925
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

    You cant mix open source gpl'd code with close source, its against the gpl.
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  7. Posts : 1,289

    swarfega said:
    You cant mix open source gpl'd code with close source, its against the gpl.
    Nope, Nothing prevents you including the GPL 2/3 from taking an Open Source project and implementing your own propriety extensions and charging $$ for them.

    Just look at projects like SmoothWall, Red Hat Enterprize Linux, Mandriva Linux, ddwrt and hundreds of other projects I cant remember from the top of my head, they all have subscription or paid versions

    If you create the code, its yours even if you modified an open source project.
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  8. Arc
    Posts : 35,373
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

    septprince said:
    My computer also does not support hardware virtualization but I run xp virtually in sun virtual box....

    And dont you guys think that vmlite-alternative-windows-xp-mode`s screenshot look exactly like Sun virtual box with another name and icon.......

    Attachment 23804
    A request ! Can you please give me the download link of the "logo" software installed in your XP?
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  9. Posts : 141
    Windows 7

    swarfega said:
    You cant mix open source gpl'd code with close source, its against the gpl.
    I was under this impression as well.

    huisinro, you say" search "Huihong Luo" on VirtualBox source code changelogs, you will see some of our code changes."

    I should not have to go back to the Virtual Box website, your base program, to find these changes. They should be prominently posted on Your website. What if I never heard of Virtual Box but only your program?

    huisinro - Your missing the point. According to my understanding of the GPL once you add closed source to an open source GPL licensed application, you cannot redistribute it without providing access to all of the source code, Virtual Box's AND your closed source changes. Your closed source is Not closed any longer. By virtue of adding it to an App under GPL, your closed source becomes open source and you must provide the source code for it.

    Your own license text even says this !

    I Quote from YOUR License text that you distribute with VMLite:

    In your own license you give with the VMLite, you only give the version for Virtual Box. But it does state:

    "For example, if you distribute copies of the library, whether gratis
    or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that
    we gave you. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can
    get the source code. If you link other code with the library, (This would be Your VMLite Closed Source Code)
    you must provide complete object files to the recipients, so that
    they can relink them with the library after making changes to the
    library and recompiling it. And you must show them these terms so
    they know their rights. "

    It reads to me that this also applies to your modified closed code.

    I want all source code and all of your object files that you linked with the libraries so I can "relink them with the library after making changes to the
    library and recompiling it."

    According to the GPL and the license you provide me, this is MY right as I understand it. Where can I download YOUR Object files? You have Not provided or offered these things.

    I will quote the GNU GPL FAQ:

    " Does the GPL require that source code of modified versions be posted to the public?

    The GPL does not require you to release your modified version, or any part of it. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.

    But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.

    Thus, the GPL gives permission to release the modified program in certain ways, and not in other ways; but the decision of whether to release it is up to you. "


    " If I use a piece of software that has been obtained under the GNU GPL, am I allowed to modify the original code into a new program, then distribute and sell that new program commercially?
    You are allowed to sell copies of the modified program commercially, but only under the terms of the GNU GPL. Thus, for instance, you must make the source code available to the users of the program as described in the GPL, and they must be allowed to redistribute and modify it as described in the GPL.

    These requirements are the condition for including the GPL-covered code you received in a program of your own. "

    The GPL Violations page says:

    "If you think you see a violation of the GNU GPL, LGPL, AGPL, or FDL, the first thing you should do is double-check the facts:

    • Is source code included in the distribution?
    • Is a written offer for source code included with a distribution or just binaries?
    • Is the available source code complete, or is it designed for linking in other non-free modules? "

    So you see, you have not fully answered my question. How can you side step the GPL and not provide the full source code? You do not even have a link on your site to the source code for the Virtual Box OSE version itself, let alone your closed source changes.

    Like I said, I do a lot of advertising for VMLite, and people want to know this. I need something that is solid to tell them. So far you have not answered this.

    You have admitted you changed the original as well as added closed source to the code.

    I quote huisinro, "We have contributed our changes to the VirtualBox OSE,"

    Where is your source code for this? You have not even provided this. Aside from your closed source, Not providing the source code for changes made to the original code is Clearly a major violation of GPL. There is no place on your download page to download any source code at all.

    You do have another license in your software.. one for your closed source. You cannot do this. The two license agreements conflict with and contradict each other. Because you based your end product on the VBox OSE, you cannot have another license to cover your closed source. This makes your closed source code license Null and Void. Because your closed source license, is not legal, I ask that you provide me full source code (both the changes you made to Virtual Box OSE and your closed source code) and all object files. I want to make my own application based on your software. According to the license for your base program, Virtual Box OSE, and it's GPL License, this is My Legal Right as I understand it.

    You seem to fail to understand, that when you decided to modify and add code to the Virtual Box OSE, to create VMLite, you ACCEPTED it's GPL License in it's entirety. Anything you do to the software including making a new application from it, must remain fully under that same GPL License - This includes your closed source additions.
    Last edited by DarkPhoenix; 15 Feb 2010 at 17:15.
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  10. Posts : 262
    windows 7
    Thread Starter

    This is not true. If so, Sun VirtualBox PUEL version wouldn't exist, since it's closed source on top of VirtualBox OSE. If your statement is true, since VirtualBox uses QEMU, which is GPL-ed, then all VirtualBox and Sun commercial products based on VBox OSE (which in turn depends on QEMU) should be open sourced, which is obviously not the case.

    You can use our modified VirtualBox OSE to do development work, but not our closed source code. The modified version of VBox OSE can be download from VBox SVN, and you can start from there.
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