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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: Tasks for GPL-ed tools (Was: Re: Problems with licenses (GPL, LGPL) and task writing)
Date Sun, 17 Jun 2001 01:37:54 GMT
On Sun, 17 Jun 2001 11:37, Weiqi Gao wrote:
> On 17 Jun 2001 10:50:50 +1000, Peter Donald wrote:
> > [...] I am not a lawyer [...]
> Going back to the original question: "I wrote an Ant task for a GPL-ed
> tool.  Does that force my task to be GPL-ed too?  Can it be included in
> Ant?"
> These points seem to be clear:
> 1. GPL-ed code can't go into Ant CVS (or any other Apache projects).
> 2. If the task uses the GPL-ed tool through a command line interface,
> the the task would not be forced to be GPL-ed.
> 3. If the task calls into the GPL-ed tool through a programming
> interface, then the task would be forced to be GPL-ed.
> What about using reflection (assuming the GPL-ed tool is a Java tool)?

I used to think so (it *seems* to be allowed if you use a well established 
interface). However I was told by one of the guys at the FSF that this is a 
no *unless* it conforms to an established, widely implementable interface. ie 
I could write a GPLed servlet, GPLed ejb etc and run them in non-GPL 
containers. However I have got different answers depending on who I asked - 
so I am not sure ;) I would recomend pleeing with the writers of GPL 
library/tool to see if they would make it LGPL, Mozilla, BSD or virtually any 
other license ;) 



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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