Use of GPLed Python extension modules

Paul Rubin http
Sat Nov 22 23:14:25 CET 2003

bokr at (Bengt Richter) writes:
> The question ISTM is whether importing a GPL'd module is enough to
> trigger GPL obligations on the part of the importing module. 

That is a correct statement of the question.  According to the FSF,
the answer to the question is yes, that's enough to trigger the obligations.

> ISTM that is more like a program-program relationship than
> incorporation of code (unless it modifies the source. e.g., with an
> execfile and changes based on source knowledge). I.e., if a non-GPL
> module could be substituted without changing the importer, IWT that
> would mean plug-compatibility rather than incorporation. But IANAL.

The FSF's lawyer IAL, and he says you're in error.

> I haven't read the license recently, but I thought there there was
> some arms-length uses of GPL software by proprietary software that
> are allowed, or am I mistaken? I don't know how long the arm has to
> be though.

Somewhat longer than importing a module into your program's address
space and calling it through a subroutine interface.

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