Calling GPL code from a Python application

Mike Meyer mwm at
Tue Jan 3 22:44:16 EST 2006

bkhl at (Björn Lindström) writes:
> Tim Churches <tchur at> writes:
>> Which section(s) of the GPL say(s) that, exactly? I mean, where is
>> dynamic linking mentioned, or even implied? I can see where it says
>> "derived from", but not where it says "dependent on at run-time".
> It's in the interpretation of the term "derived from". The FSF
> standpoint is that if you link to a library, you are creating a
> derivative of that library, in the shape of the whole process.

What he said.

Note that I'm *not* interpreting the GPL. I'm interpreting what the
FSF says about the GPL. If the goal is to avoid a lawsuit, the latter
is what you have to pay attention to, as they're telling you what
actions you can take without getting sued. The text comes into play
once the lawsuit starts, and you're trying to convince the judge that
your interpretation of the text is correct.

That said, the FSF is acting like any corporation, and interpreting
the GPL as far in their favor as they think has a chance in
court. Which means if you're willing to take them to court over it,
you can probably get more than they'll give you without the lawsuit.
But in that case, you're going to need a real lawyer, so you might as
well talk to one beforehand, and only try what they think you have a
chance of getting in court.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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