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Re: GPL question

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: GPL question
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 19:58:48 +0200 (CEST)

   Question is, what is the difference between

   (1) calling a function in a GPL shared library

   (2) running an external GPL program and parsing its output

One shares code, the other doesn't (unless the output contains
copyrightable bits).

As for rjack, ignore him.

   > > How come they are allowed to do that but I am not?
   > Are you sure they didn't get a proprietary license from the authors?

   My engineer thinks that's unlikely for a number of reasons...
   (sorry for picking on afformentioned project again, nothing
   personal, it's just the first result on my research list)

   (1) afformentioned project is free for personal use.

   (2) afformentioned project comes with 'windent', a gui'fied
   version of GNU indent 1.10.0 (says so right there in its main
   window, "This is adaption of Indent 1.10.0, Copyright GNU."),
   yet no source code available; plus it's distributed as part of
   a proprietary project.

   (3) afformentioned project's runtime contains a function named
   'edit_distance()' that, according to runtime docs, is released
   under GPL terms, and goes on,
   |    The source code is distributed in the lcc directory,
   |   "\lcc\src\editdistance" as required by this license.
   i.e., runtime is closed source, only sources for GPL part are
   provided. With a proprietary license, this surely wouldn't be
   necessary, but under GPL the whole library must be GPL, right?

Yes, this has been repeated now several times.  If you use GPL
licensed code (either linking, copying, or whatever), then the *WHOLE*
work must be licensed under the terms of the GPL.

   So let me rephrase my initial question, "If I do get caught, what
   are the consequences. Are there any?"

You get sued, and you get to pay legal fees and damages.  Or you
settle, if you get the chance, and release your deriviate work under
the GPL.

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