An idea - request for comments

phil phil at
Mon Aug 9 02:17:23 EDT 1999

On Sun, 08 Aug 99 12:31:22 GMT, philh at (Phil Hunt)

>In article <37AA804D.9A1317C0 at> nhead at "Nigel Head" writes:
>> There's no licence statement in the distribution at all for now --
>> my intention is that anyone can use the contents anyway they want,
>> for non-commercial purposes, providing they keep a reference to the
>> original source. Oh yes, and I can't take any responsibility for errors.
>> Perhaps one of you experienced people can offer some quick advice as to what I
>> need to do -- do I need to just add a licence.txt file or must I add a header
>> to every file? What standard text can I use? Is my intent compatible with the
>> GPL?
This post raised some concerns for me since i have a Python extension
that i was going to add to our latest product release. The product is
not written in Python, nor does it require Python to be running and
the extension is there because i thought it was cool. However, i have
to ask whether it is legal to retain this functionality.
>No. The GPL allows anyone to use the software, for commercial or
>non-commercial purposes. However, if they distribute the software, 
>they must include all source code, including all source code they
>write which is linked to the software.
I don't understand this. What is "the software"? As far as i can tell,
if the software is distributed in binary format (say as a DLL on
Windoze boxes) then it can be distributed freely with no conditions.
I've written an extension to a vehicle tracking product that we
produce that offers a scripting interface. I'm not sure if anyone will
use this, but i certainly can't distribute it if i have to distribute
the Python source. Added to which, i don't want to distribute my
source (except to selected folk) as i don't need the support grief.

>The license that you want is something like the BSD license except that
>it forbids commercial use.

I can't forbid commercial use. This was why i chose Python. I have no
idea if people can or will  make money on my interface. If Python
imposes commercial limitations then i'll have to drop it, pissed-ly,
since i spent quite a bit of time writing an extension, but that's the
way it goes.

So, can somebody tell me if i can ship the Python Bits and my own DLL
to anybody to use in any way they desire? No fairly otherwise eh?

>Phil Hunt....philh at

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