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

Distributing GPL software


I have a couple of questions regarding the distribution of GPL
software on commercial CDs.
[I know the advice from debian-legal doesn't have legal authority, but
I turned to your help, since you have a lot of experience dealing with
[If this really is the wrong list, please point me to a more appropriate one]

The situation is as follows:
- I intend to include xpdf, and xdialog on a commercial CD (unmodified
binaries + copyright file, and everything  i found in
- These programs are called from a shell script, so nothing links to
these programs, thus the software on the CD is not a derivative of
xpdf/xdialog, therefore it doesn't have to be GPL (am I right)
- The shell script also calls programs like zenity/kdialog, but these
are not included on the CD.

To be "safe", and not violate the GPL, which of the following should I do:
- A link to where the original sources can be downloaded from
- Include the sources of xpdf/xdialog
- Host the sources of xpdf/xdialog on the company's webserver

Should I also:
- Write a statement in a README/COPYRIGHT file, enumerating the
included GPL software, and their copyright
- Contact upstream, to let them know we use their software

Can a shell script be considered "derived work"?
- it can't work without xdialog/zenity/kdialog being available
- however a shell script "implicitly" means I am distributing the
source code too
[If they are derived works, I might consider rewriting it using gtk,
since that is LGPL, right?
If I do, can I use glade? (it is GPL, but does GPL cover generated code?)]

The rest of the programs on the CD can work without xpdf, but without
the ability to show pdf files, so they aren't derived works, are
they?(they call xpdf using system())

IMHO providing a link where the sources can be downloaded from, and
providing a list of GPL software, and their location on the CD is
enough to comply with the GPL, but I want to be sure.

If I make changes to a GPL program, is it enough if I submit the
changes upstream, or do I have to offer the patch (on the CD/on the

Thanks in advance,

Reply to: