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Re: GPL question

On Tue, Sep 05, 2000, Mike Cunningham wrote:

> I work for a company  which sells a proprietary closed-source call centre
> application. We are looking to write a central printing server component which
> would [hopefully] make use of Ghostscript. I understand that we would need to
> release the printing server under the GPL and we have no problem with doing
> that.

   It depends on how ghostscript is called. If it is just called with
system(); or popen(); then you don't need to make it GPL.

> My question is: would the rest of our product need to be re-licensed
> under the GPL too?

   Again, it depends on how "the rest of your product" communicates with
the printing server. If they are completely separate programs (ie. one
calling the other with system() or through a pipe), then both can have
their separate license.

   However, if your printing server component is a library and is GPLed,
then every work linked to it has to be GPLed (or have an even less
restrictive license).

> Also, is it relevant that at the moment the whole app. comes on a single CD?

   This is considered "mere aggregation" of software by the GPL, and
thus the different parts of the work do not need to have the same
license, even if there is one GPLed app there.

> I.e. if we added the new print server to the CD then have we just formed a
> "distribution" (as described in the license) and ...aaaaaaagh.

   Don't worry, as I said, just have a look at the very last sentence of
section 2 of the GPL.

Samuel Hocevar <sam@via.ecp.fr>                     http://www.via.ecp.fr/~sam/
1024D/29499F61 1999-04-22    1155 4B19 A50F 1136 6E60  A499 7CF3 F5AF 2949 9F61
dig goret.org @zoy.org axfr \
  | perl -e 'for(sort(<>)){print pack("H32",$1) if(/^c..\.(\w+)/)}' | gzip -d

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