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"serva" gpl violation proof

gpl license

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#1 costinel



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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:16 PM

I've wrote this when clicking "report post" on last post in the pinned thread above but now I've discovered I can create a new thread. Quote below my original text:

Since I've come late to the party but nobody has performed a single "strings" anaylsis on the serva32.exe binary, I consider a duty to make a small exercise.

It's too late and I'm too tired to find another way to comment. Please forgive me for abusing the "report" forum function.

So, long story short:

First, on what .exe are we looking at

Z:DocumentsDownloads>sha1sum Serva_Non-Supporter_32_v2.0.0.zip
b0891f4a78803c885df860364cc6a752e3ae13d5 *Serva_Non-Supporter_32_v2.0.0.zip

Z:DocumentsDownloadsServa_Non-Supporter_32_v2.0.0>sha1sum Serva32.exe
0083528f1e40361498658c39a3832a3438dcdd1a *Serva32.exe

Z:DocumentsDownloadsServa_Non-Supporter_32_v2.0.0>strings Serva32.exe > strings.txt

open strings.txt, go to random, take this line:

"hivex_value_value: warning: declared data length is longer than the block it is in (data 0x%zx, data len %zu, block len %zu)"

search on google, find this:



"/* hivex - Windows Registry "hive" extraction library.
* Copyright © 2009-2010 Red Hat Inc.
* Derived from code by Petter Nordahl-Hagen under a compatible license:
* Copyright © 1997-2007 Petter Nordahl-Hagen.
* Derived from code by Markus Stephany under a compatible license:
* Copyright © 2000-2004, Markus Stephany.
* This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
* modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public
* License as published by the Free Software Foundation;
* version 2.1 of the License.
* This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
* but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
* Lesser General Public License for more details.
* See file LICENSE for the full license.

gpl license violation - q.e.d.

PS: totally offtopic: Nuno, I'm expecting the number of views on a post to count unique views, excluding my own view. If the forum software allows this, do you have a little time to adjust the settings so "views" counts unique views, and not my 5 clicks on the post link? (if you agree that this is useful, ofcourse). thanks! :)

Edited by costinel, 17 May 2012 - 10:22 PM.

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#2 al_jo


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:37 PM

And still it’s on Cnet:

And a Winbuilder script is here:
Only tested ftp & http (in Win7PE)

#3 homes32


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:33 PM

I really don't think we need another topic listing all the license violations in serva, which anybody with a PE tool such as PE Explorer or CFF Explorer and a Hex Editor can find. It has already been pointed out to the software author in another thread that there are multiple violations of multiple software/licenses. And since the developer has made it clear that he will not be developing/posting his software in this forum there is not much point in us rehashing this all out again here on reboot.

As I see it those with concerns about the license violations have the following options:
  • Contact the author of Serva and nicely/tactfully point out your concerns as well as some suggestions on addressing them. Be polite and encourage them to become compliant.
  • Contact the author of the programs you believe have their licenses violated by serva. The authors can then determine for themselves if their licenses are being violated and take action if they so choose.
  • in the case of some licences like the GPL have specific steps you can take to report violations.
From the GPL FAQ:

What should I do if I discover a possible violation of the GPL?
You should report it. First, check the facts as best you can. Then tell the publisher or copyright holder of the specific GPL-covered program. If that is the Free Software Foundation, write to <license-violation@gnu.org>. Otherwise, the program's maintainer may be the copyright holder, or else could tell you how to contact the copyright holder, so report it to the maintainer.

please no more discussion of Serva license violations here. its not going to solve anything.

@al-jo: please stay on topic. this is not the place to be peddling scripts.
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#4 sbaeder


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 06:30 PM

One comment needed to be made here is that the post above mentions the LESSER GPL or LGPL license, which is a very different beast, since it was created as a compromise (originally for libraries of GPL code that are linked into other code). While it places restrictions on the specific program code governed under it, the LGPL does not apply GPL like restrictions to the other parts of the software that merely link with that code.

So a simple "strings" on the exe could easily find a match, and that does NOT in any way, shape or form "prove" a violation. The bottom line is that there are always a lot of complex issues when dealing with "open" source licensing.
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#5 homes32


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:18 PM

to be clear sbaeder is referring to the fact that hivex uses the LGPL license, which is NOT the same as GPL
I also mentioned this in the other topic.

hivex and 7zip functions are LGPL specifying that any part of the code that uses those functions must be released as LGPL and source code available. other parts of the code may remain private. there may be some provisions/exclusions depending on how the binaries are linked.

basically what that means is that means is that you are only required to disclose code directly related to the LGPL'ed code you are using and not the entire application. It comes down to how you are using the LGPL code.

in this case, still perhaps a violation, but lets not confuse licenses.

#6 patpat



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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:23 PM

.in this case, still perhaps a violation,....

Don't you thing you should have some better background in order to avoid sentences like the one Above?

1) Using LPGL and not releasing the code is not a violation “per se”. Then, what’s the problem with matching strings??
2) if you read carefully the function pointed out says
fprintf (stderr, "hivex_value_value: warning: declared data length …
Of course a GUI program like Serva cannot fprintf() to stderr therefore that code is not active don’t you think? See the version available now, it has no a single string.
Ok, please tell me how you guys want Serva; with or w/o strings??

homes32 I think the only objective here is getting my code by force when you guys could’ve just say something like
“Hey Pat can you share some code, we desperately need it for our winbilder” or
“Hey Pat can you guide/help us in developing something similar? winbuilder requires something like you did”
Winbuilder and Serva do not compete; don’t you think that would’ve been a better approach?

You and some other members of this forum (some of them with very little started topics on their shoulders) are jumping in for this pathetic game of license harassment casting gratuitous accusations against my person always behind a keyboard and a nick name, always showing that the accusations have no more real background than some reboot.pro members' urge for somebody else’s code “no matter what it takes”...

homes32,costinel, etc... publishing false accusations on the net like you guys do it is not a GPL violation but a crime on many countries of the EU and in the US; you and the webmaster of this forum probably should consider that…

As always this is my last post here…

#7 homes32


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:44 PM

This is not a conspiracy. I don't want your code and as far as I know there are no plans to implement such features into Winbuilder.

No one has made any accusations against your person.

I have already said in this and other topics that it is time to move past license issues here on reboot. The concerns have been brought to your attention and if others people have issues there are avenues to take to resolve them, as I stated above.

#8 TheHive


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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:14 PM

Ok, please tell me how you guys want Serva; with or w/o strings??

Can you mention the benefits of w/o strings and/or the none/benifits of having them?

#9 Lewis



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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:39 AM

Posted Image

EDIT: What exactly is the endgame here? Theres a couple of possible outcomes from this:

1: Patpat doesn't release source, nothing happens
2: Patpat releases source to prove no LGPL violations (isn't going to happen)

So, thats that. So remind me again why this topic was started? Are you hoping for the LGPL police to kick patpat's door down?

This is a pointless argument with nothing to be gained. But we've scared a talented dev off, so good work with that everyone.

Mods, as you're skimming these posts right before you lock the topic, maybe it might be a good idea to turf the Serva "container" all together out of "Boot from LAN". Just a suggestion (otherwise you'll get same reposts of for/against remixed into a variety of flavors :) ).

Edited by Lewis, 20 May 2012 - 09:46 AM.

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#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 04:18 PM

Definitely it is a beaten to death horse, but the whole issue has made something else evident.
It seems like "intellectual property" and "Copyrights" are made of "rubber" in this Forum :w00t:
There are tens (maybe hundreds) of posts/attachments/projects either hosted or supported on this forum, that breach this or that license, Eula, or intellectual property of someone else.
Now the news are that the "suggested practice" is "all your base are belong to us", and this is motivated by supposed appropriation of reboot.pro name, cloning of winbuilder, and what not.
As I see it intellectual property or - more widely - Author's will (this is purely "moral" no Laws of any kind involved) is either to be respected (I personally try my best to do so) or it is not, binary 0/1, Off/On, it seems like here only "some" intellectual property has to be respected (and if you - by any chance - happen to have crossed the line, everyone is ready to throw stones at you).
Not really new, something similar happened in the past allright:


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