GPL and Python modules.

Grant Edwards grante at
Mon Oct 25 21:07:25 CEST 2004

On 2004-10-25, Charles Hixson <charleshixsn at> wrote:

>>>Let's say I use a GPL'd python module (e.g. something installed
>>>in site-packages) in an application.
>>I'd say everything that uses a GPL'd module is derived work and must also be
>>GPL'd. It doesn't matter how you distribute it. If the module is under the
>>LGPL you could use it in a closed source app but must make available any
>>changes to the original module.
> I don't think that's correct.  If you distribute the source, then I 
> don't think that you need to GPL the code (and if you GPL the code, you 
> *must* distribute the source
> The thing is, the source, although it depends on the GPL code to execute 
> is not itself linked to the GPL code. 

This is equally true of a .pyc file that will require a GPL'd
module at runtime.

> It tells you (in the import statement) that you'll need it,
> but that's a different matter.  You might just want to study
> how some part of it worked.
> I doubt that this is much help to you though.  Usually when
> people ask such a question it's because they intend to
> distribute a closed source version, and I don't think you can
> do that.  (But don't take my advice as a certainty.  I'm quite
> biased in favor of the GPL.)

The simplest thing to do is to just tell py2exe to install the
source code as well -- until the questions about "why my
modified souce code doesn't work" start arriving.

Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  Now that we're
                                  at               in LOVE, you can BUY
                                 this GOLDFISH for a 48%

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