Re: GPL scripts with a GPL-incompatible interpreter
>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Bushnell, BSG <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Thomas> Walter Landry <email@example.com> writes:
>> You seem to be worrying about distributing GPL'd applications
>> under section 3 of the GPL. But that is only for "object code
>> or executable form". Debian is distributing it under section
>> 2. Furthermore, the thing that Debian distributes doesn't have
>> any parts of anything else in it. This is different from
>> compiled C code, which has parts of the compiler, libc, and
>> other libraries. So Debian doesn't have to worry about
Thomas> Thank you Walter, this is exactly right in my opinion as
I don't know if this is true in the case at hand, but note that it is
only true if there is not a build process that modifies the scripts.
For example, let's say that I have a configure script and make file
that substitutes in some path names into a .php.in file. The .php.in
is the preferred form for editing and can be distributed under section
1 and 2 of the GPL. The resulting .php file is not and requires
permissions of section 3.
In this case it might be nice if the GPL allowed me to distribute the
.php file under sections 1 and 2 only, as it's really fairly close to
source code and people won't be horribly inconvenienced if they have
that form as the source.
However for more complex build systems--for example when macros are
expanded through use of complex m4, the protection of the GPL is
As such, the circumstances under which section 3 can be ignored for
Debian binary packages are rather limited.