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Re: Calling GPL'd program from a proprietory software

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Calling GPL'd program from a proprietory software
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 07:34:18 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (gnu/linux)

nitin gupta <> writes:

>   From one of my educational softwares am calling a GPL'd program
> through a shell script of my source code.But, am not sure whether i
> too need to release my software code under GPL.
> 1) My Program don't static/dynamic link to GPL code i.e i don't
> compile my software against the GPL'd software.
> 2) I don't distribute the GPL'd software.It have to be downloaded and
> installed separately by end user.
> 3) My program runs a script which finds GPL software's installation
> path and updates its path in some of my other configuration scripts.
> 4) My program communicates to GPL'd program using files.My program
> creates a input text file and invokes GPL'd software. GPL'd software
> outputs another result text file.My program parses result file and
> shows formatted result in my program GUI window.Thus, only thing my
> program knows about GPL'd program is the formats of it's input/output
> files formats.
> Do you think i can release my program closed-source and charge a fee
> for it ? Or do i still need to release my program under GPL ? Please
> guide.

You are using the GPLed part as an independent component, as designed,
as far as I can see.  Releasing as closed-source and charging would not
seem problematic.

You may be disappointed in the return of investment for your hassles,
though.  The above requirements sound like they rule out most except
technically savvy people, likely those with a good knowledge of what the
wrapped program is about, and those would likely just make do without
your program if it means paying and redistribution restrictions.

So while there may be no legal obstacles in your way, it might still not
be worth it.  However, you lose nothing (except time and effort) by

David Kastrup

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