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Bambu’s license issues

November 26th, 2022 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Bambu X1 and Carbon variant is possibly the printer of the year and it comes with Bambu’s own slicer, BambuStudio. This is a fork of PrusaSlicer, which again is a fork of slic3r. When the slicer was released, this being a fork was not disclosed and it was presented as an in-house slicer. However, those who tested it, quickly found out about this and reported the licensing issues, in that you can’t just take open source code licensed under AGPL and use it as your own. In reply to this, Bambu opensourced its BambuStudio and put it on github. But, there’s a catch. The BambuStudio, on startup, downloads two closed source libraries for communication with the Bambu cloud service and the printer. The AGPL, however, like its sister GPL, states that libraries linked to the software are considered a derivative work, meaning the AGPL license also covers those libraries. Since Bambu hasn’t provided any source code for these libraries, that’s a clear violation against AGPL. I have reported this issue to Bambu, but so far, I haven’t gotten a reply. Let’s just hope Bambu will adapt to the license and not just ignore it.

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  1. Peter Marshall
    November 27th, 2022 at 10:33 | #1

    It depends whether the code is linked or executed dynamically – if it’s executed dynamically you can call any number of closed source libraries to perform functions without breaking the license as long as the code to call the library source is included.

    The network plugin appears to be accessed in this way in the source, defined as external functions in the network code, in exactly the same way the Bonjour support is setup

    • November 27th, 2022 at 18:46 | #2

      This is not true. It doesn’t matter if it’s linked dynamically or statically. The AGPL license doesn’t differentiate between the two, since they do the same job.

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