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Re: Commercial Invocation

From: rjack
Subject: Re: Commercial Invocation
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 12:02:04 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20071031) wrote:
What is the fallout of a commercial product that includes a GPL
command-line tool with its distribution, and invokes that GPL command-
line tool as part of its workflow?  In other words, the commercial
software does not link statically or dynamically with the GPL code, it
just launches the GPL executable.  Is that a sufficient barrier
between the commercial and GPL side to satisfy the GPL license?

It's a sufficient barrier until one of the ump-teen contributing
authors to the GPL tool suffers an infected rectal hair because your distribution doesn't fit his idealogical idea of socialist property sharing. At that point it's Federal Court lawsuit time. Before you launch your product set aside sufficient money for attorney fees to defend against his silly-assed ideologically based claims. Federal intimidation lawsuits have become the new egotistical weapon of choice for GPL authors.

There is probably a way out of your potential commercial risk though. Look for one of the great number of Unix command-line tools that have been released under a BSD or Apache license and adapt accordingly.

Rjack :)

--- "[I]f an extra element is required instead of or in addition
to the acts of reproduction, performance, distribution or display
in order to constitute a state-created cause of action, there is
no preemption, provided that the extra element changes the nature
of the action so that it is qualitatively different from a
copyright infringement claim." Stromback v. New Line Cinema, 384 F.3d 283 (United States Court Of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit 2004) ---

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