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Re: Does using automake+autoconf require my project to be GPL'ed?

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: Does using automake+autoconf require my project to be GPL'ed?
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 11:54:52 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 9 Mar 2009, almkglor wrote:

I'm building an open-source project that is currently under a permissive MIT
license.  Since the project is getting complex, I'm thinking of using
Automake+Autoconf to help handle portability.

What I'd like to know is, does using Automake+Autoconf require me to license
distributions built using them with the GPL?

In case there is some confusion, GPL limits the distribution of built applications, it does not limit the distribution of source code. GPL would only apply to a built application if it incorporated GPL source code. In some cases a GPLed tool might emit GPLed code as part of its output which becomes part of the program and then an exception is required. The missing script is not incorporated in the built application and the missing script is itself source code.

The exceptions included with autoconf, automake, and libtool, are designed to allow using packages to use these tools without requiring the package itself to become GPL.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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