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Re: Using a script licensed under GPL in an application licensed under a

From: observatory
Subject: Re: Using a script licensed under GPL in an application licensed under a license that's not compatible with GPL
Date: 14 Dec 2006 15:48:30 -0800
User-agent: G2/1.0

Suppose I want to err on the safe side, let's consider for a while that
what I asked before is not allowed.

Does it seem less questionable (or more clearly allowed) for me to
prepare a zip file containing GPL'ed script files and put it as a
separate download on my site (telling the users to unzip this file in a
certain directory of my app) ? The GPL'ed script files will be
unmodified (containing the license and all the original code) - but the
file and directory structure may not be as in the original


Stefaan A Eeckels wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Dec 2006 18:03:37 +0100 (CET)
> "Alfred M. Szmidt" <> wrote:
> >    > My application consists of a collection of scripts (full source
> >    > distributed) licensed under a license that I'll call A.  I want
> >    > to distribute with my application, the source version of a script
> >    > licensed under GPL. This script (source) will be imported and
> >    > used at runtime by my application.
> >    >
> >    > Is this allowed when license A is not compatible with GPL ?
> >
> >    Yes. Your scripts are not based on or derived from that script, so
> >    it cannot have an influence on the copyright status of your
> >    original work.  It's what is called "mere aggregation" in the GPL.
> >
> > This is completely wrong.  The source code is not merly aggregated, it
> > is actually imported by the program.  And thus constitutes a deriviate
> > work.  It is exactly the same situation with linking a binary.
> >
> > It would be a different situation if it was a program that would
> > execute the GPL script.
> In which case the result of this process on the computer where it is
> running would be a derivative (not deriviate - you must be thinking of
> "opiate" :) work of both scripts.
> The scripts of the OP are written by the OP, and contain no code of the
> GPLed script. They cannot be a derivative work of the GPLed script.
> They use the functionality of the script, just as they use the
> functionality of the script interpreter that is used to run them. A
> bash script is not a derivative work of bash. A script that sources or
> calls another script is not a derivative work of that script.
> Where I can have some (but not much) sympathy for the claim that a
> compiled program that is dynamically linked to a library should be
> considered a derivative work (a functionally identical, but statically
> linked program would contain material from the library), the idea that
> "include" type statements create derivative works is asinine.
> It is especially asinine because it makes every source program a
> derivative work of the OS or at least the libraries it uses. If this
> type of reference is recognised as creating a derivative work, it
> becomes impossible to write a program, because the copyright statutes
> forbid the preparation of derivative works without the consent of the
> copyright holder.
> If writing ". /foo/bar" in a shell script makes the _source_ code of the
> shell script a derivative work of /foo/bar, programming essentially
> becomes impossible, because then you cannot write those 10 characters
> without the permission of the author of /foo/bar.
> --
> Stefaan A Eeckels
> --
> When the need is strong, there are those who will believe anything.
>                                                     -- Arnold Lobel

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