GPL and Python modules.

Ian Bicking ianb at
Mon Oct 25 20:34:35 CEST 2004

Grant Edwards wrote:
>>Why don't you just GPL the whole lot? Headache over, and a
>>warm fuzzy feeling in its place.
> I haven't said I won't. :) That said, providing a mechanism for
> people to get the source does impose some overhead and cost.
> And then there's the time/cost associated with supporting the
> GPL'd source code _after_ you've provided somebody with it.

You don't have to provide any mechanism, nor provide any support.  If 
you are giving them .pyc files, just include the .py files as well.  You 
don't even have to GPL your code, you just have to abide by the GPL 
(i.e., provide source); you could distribute your code under any 
GPL-compatible license, such as a BSD-style license.

All the GPL asks is that you distribute the source with the program, and 
allow that source to be modified and redistributed.  Anything less is 
against the spirit of the GPL, and as such against the spirit that the 
original author had in mind when releasing that GPL code; you can try to 
get around it, but even if it's legal it's not right.  And it's probably 
not legal, since intent *does* matter.  If you don't think the GPL is 
really the intent of the original author, then contact them; they may 
very well be willing to relicense the code.

But as long as you don't mind people seeing, redistributing, and 
modifying your source, then the GPL is not a problem, just a few extra 
kilobytes in your distribution.  Well, you are also supposed to note 
somewhere that the source is available under the GPL -- so an extra line 
in Help>About (or something like that) should be included.

Ian Bicking  /  ianb at  /

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