[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

GPL Question


My Debian developer application is in the works. I plan on being the
Debian maintainer for my own program, called "pup" (Printer Utility
The first version, which has been out since last August at:

is only an ink cartridge maintainance utility program for the Lexmark
Optra 40 and 45 printers. It uses the GTK+ widget set. I released it
under the GPL. The few printer calls that it uses were given to me by
Lexmark with permission to redistribute under the GPL.

Lexmark was impressed and gave me their Technical Reference Manual,
which I think anyone can get. So now I am writing the next version of
pup, which will use many more printer calls and work on several more
Lexmark printers. I sent Lexmark this question on using these additional
printer calls from their manual:

> The thought occurred to me that I should seek permission to use the
> calls in the pdf manual you gave me, after reading the copyright page.
> So I need permission to use the calls in pup and release them as source
> code under the GPL. The program will remain free and GPL. Maybe you
> could give me a statement that I can place in the credits window?
> Something to the effect that permission to use the Lexmark specific
> calls in this program are granted under the GPL? I already have a
> similar statement about the cartridge maintenance calls. 

Lexmark responded with:

> You are free to use and distribute any command string in the Printer
> Technical Reference. I double checked this with my manager. The only
> legalese I saw was on page two of the document and it didn't appear to
> restrict distribution. It just stated that the document might contain
> flaws. If you wished to put something in the credits window, you might try
> something like "All printer command strings in this application have been
> released for public distribution." I can't grant these commands under the
> GPL license because this would place GPL restrictions on any future
> derivations of the commands.

So my question for the Legal folks is, with the above paragraph from
Lexmark, can I still release my pup program with the related printer
calls under the GPL, and if so how would I word the license statement
inside pup?

Here is what I have on the previous version of pup, the one without the
additional printer calls:

    Copyrighted under the
    GNU General Public License.
    This program uses the libc, glib, and GTK+ libraries 
    which fall under the terms of the GNU Library General 
    Public License, version 2 or later. Depending on how 
    this program was compiled, other licenses may apply. 
    For example if this program was compiled under 
    XFree86, the XFree86 Copyright and the copyrights 
    it contains may apply.
    Printer specific calls courtesy of Lexmark International, 
    Inc. with permission from (and thanks to) David Lane of 
    Lexmark to release under the GNU General Public License.
    This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. 
    This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute 
    it under certain conditions. For details, see the GNU 
    General Public License.

Thank you,

Matt Simpson

Reply to: