RE: GPL and NON GPL version modules

From: David Schwartz
Date: Tue May 16 2006 - 15:54:27 EST

> Unless the "someone else will release a GPL wrapper to my proprietary
> module" accident is planned from the start.
> Xav

There certainly does seem to be some reason for suspicion.

I would say that this doesn't matter so long as the two works are separate.
That is, two people could plan this from the start, act in concert, and
still be okay. However, they would have to make sure that nothing about the
GPL wrapper contaminates the proprietary module. That is, the proprietary
module must not in any way be designed to accomondate the GPL wrapper,
except perhaps in the form of generic accomodation for any wrapper.

If the proprietary module contains any code that is designed specifically
to accomodate the GPL wrapper, the line is crossed. Whether or not that
consitutes a legal violation, however, is a complicated question.

So long as the proprietary module was not designed to work with GPL'd code
(more than it's generically designed to work with other code of the same
type) and contains no GPL'd code, you should be okay. However, as soon as
any of the design of the proprietary code is intended to facilitate
interoperation with specific GPL'd code, you could start to get into

You should definitely consult a lawyer, but prepared for the answer,
"nobody really knows". They can chart out what is almost definitely safe and
what is almost definitely illegal, but there is a huge space in-between.


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