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More on Bambu’s license issues

One and a half year back, I wrote about Bambu’s licensing issues and was given a rather an answer that didn’t really clear up anything. Either Bambu is directly lying, or they don’ know what (A)GPL is all about. It’s taken some time, but no change, and we still have the issue that you can’t add a printer by its IP address or add it at all unless it’s on the same subnet, since it’s all autodiscovery, not by mDNS, but SSDP, which doesn’t even have an RFC, but only an internet draft that expired in April 2000. Since this weakness isn’t in Bambu Studio (or OrcaSlicer), but in the closed-source plugins automatically downloaded from Bambu after installing the slicer, it makes it a lot harder to fix.

Below is an open letter, that is, an answer to the now closed (or reopened) support ticket regarding this issue.

Reply to Bambu Labs ticket US221126800001

I’m not sure if you’re openly dishonest here or just don’t understand the licensing in your reply on . The GPL explicitly says that linking to software licensed under (A)GPL, makes your software a derivated work, meaning that also must be GPL. This is why LGPL (former Library GPL, now Lesser GPL) was created, to allow people to write libraries with a GPL-like license, but still allow them to be used with closed software. AGPL is even stricter than GPL and does not allow linking to anything else and if that is done, that “anything else” is also GPL and you, as a distributor of that software, must give out the source code to whomever you’ve distributed the binaries. The FSF vs Cisco case shows this very well. Linksys, later obtained by Cisco, had taken the Linux kernel and some tools and ported it to their little router, the WRT54G. This became highly popular and people found it was running Linux, which was fun. Then they found the kernel reported “tainted”, meaning it had modules that were closed source. The public asked for the source code for these, which was denied, because that was “company property”. The public replied and said “no, it’s GPL since you’re linking it together, read the license”, but Cisco refused. FSF too them to court and won.

The files used by bambu studio, are (on a mac) libBambuSource.dylib, libbambu_networking.dylib and liblive555.dylib. Files with similar names exist on Windows (.dll) and Linux (.so). These are libraries, not executable programs. You can, on some OSes, make a library executable, but that doesn’t work for these (I tried). I looked through the source code, and it looks like you’re loading the networking module with netwoking_module = dlopen( library.c_str(), RTLD_LAZY); on line src/slic3r/Utils/NetworkAgent.cpp. That is loading and linking to a shared library, effectively breaking AGPL and GPL.

You told me last time that you don’t own the code for this software, and thus cannot distribute it. This is irrelevant, since you are the ones distributing the compiled product and linking to it, so you are responsible for distributing also the code.

So, please, without further ado, please let us have the code this time.


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  1. Henning
    May 25th, 2024 at 18:18 | #1


    • May 25th, 2024 at 18:29 | #2

      yeah – I thought of that today and fixed it (about the same time as you posted this). Thanks anyway

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