On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 8:03 AM, Graeme Gill <grae...@argyllcms.com> wrote:
> Daniel Hornung wrote:
>> I am not a lawyer but I think that distributing GIMP along with other 
>> non-free
>> programs should be ok if those other programs just use it through the command
>> line.  Of course you will still have to distribute GIMP under the GPL, which
> Hmm. What's the command line got to do with it ?

The command line delineates program boundaries.  If your application
makes a call to another program, then your application and the
application being called are separate entities.  As they are separate
entities, one is not derived from the other.

> irrelevant, the dependence is what counts. A non-GPL program that invokes
> a GPL program via any mechanism sounds a lot like is has some dependence
> on the GPL code.

It is dependent on it, yes, but dependence is not derivation.
Specifically, from the GPL FAQ:

Can I release a non-free program that's designed to load a GPL-covered plug-in?

It depends on how the program invokes its plug-ins. For instance, if
the program uses only simple fork and exec to invoke and communicate
with plug-ins, then the plug-ins are separate programs, so the license
of the plug-in makes no requirements about the main program.


If the program dynamically links plug-ins, but the communication
between them is limited to invoking the ‘main’ function of the plug-in
with some options and waiting for it to return, that is a borderline

Calling GIMP from your application is perfectly acceptable under the
terms of the GPL.  Calling GIMP plugins directly gets fuzzier.  If
they are scripts, it can be done.  If they are compiled code it is
unclear.  If you invoke them via the GIMP command line however, it
does not matter - you are in compliance.


I am also not a lawyer, but believe Daniel is correct.

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