Possibly OT: Splitting Hairs Over GPL?

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Wed Apr 7 16:41:02 MDT 2010

On Wed, 2010-04-07 at 10:32 -0600, Kimball Larsen wrote:
> I've got a question about the legal use of some software licensed
> under the GPL in conjunction with commercial software I'm writing.  In
> particular, I'd like to allow my commercial software installer to
> install a full copy of GhostScript, then have my commercial software
> make a command-line call to the installation of GhostScript to convert
> a PDF to a JPG.
> If you are to believe the Artifex website (owners of GhostScript) this
> is not allowed. 
> If you are to believe the GPL website, this is allowed. 
> Anyone have some experience or knowledge on this topic? 

Which version of GhostScript are you looking at? In the past, the newest
version of GhostScript were shipped under a more restrictive license. As
each new release came out, the older version would be switched to GPL.

By the terms of the GPL, you are safe merely executing GhostScript in a
separate process. Of course, you still must provide the GhostScript code
to any user that requests it.

Is the code you're looking at pure GPL, or something else? If it's not
GPL, the extra restrictions do apply.

(As usual, INANAL.)

"XML is like violence: if it doesn't solve your problem, you aren't
using enough of it." - Chris Maden

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