Calling GPL code from a Python application

Tim Churches tchur at
Wed Jan 4 14:29:49 EST 2006

Mike Meyer wrote:
>> So is putting that program behind a web server and letting others
>>execute it.
> That's pretty clearly a public performance. One has to wonder whether
> or not the exemption for program execution would apply to such? Of
> course, in cases where it matters (i.e. - I provide public access to
> my legally purchased copy of the Brittanica, or some such), copyrights
> on things other than the program come into play. Possibly multiple
> copyrights.

I agree that that is a public performance of the software, but teh GPL
allows that: once I again point out the clause in Section 0:

"The act of running the Program is not restricted, and the output from
the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on
the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program)."

So in the vast majority of cases (unless the output constitues a "work
based on the Program"), you can place GPLed software on a Web server and
allow others to run that software.

Now, the FSF may regard this as a mistake on their part in including
these clauses in the GPL V2, but copyright holders who have licensed
their code under the GPL may not share that view. In fact, they may be
very pleased if their software is actually being used by third parties
through a Web server.

Tim C

More information about the Python-list mailing list