About GPL license gems


It’s a bit off topic question but I’m sure many of the experienced users
will be able to answer!

I was reading an article about open source licenses: GPL, LGPL, BSD and
MIT. So from what I understood, if a gem (library) I used in my program
in under GPL, I must release my program under the GPL no matter what,
is that correct?

If the license is of the the gem is BSD or MIT I can use for commercial
and/or free of charge use without restrictions (permissive licenses),

Best Regards,

Panagiotis A.

Yes, right.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, Panagiotis A. wrote:

If the license is of the the gem is BSD or MIT I can use for commercial

The wise man said: “Never argue with an idiot, he brings you down to his
level and beat you with experience.”

Nihad Abbasov

On Sat, Aug 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM, [email protected] <
[email protected]> wrote:

Yes, right.

No, this is not right. GPL requires that source code must be released
you distribute
your software. What counts as distribution is generally:

  • You give/sell the software on physical media
  • You give/sell the software as downloadable media

What doesn’t count as distribution is use over the internet (a la a
site), and there are a lot of legal gray areas for which you generally
speak with a lawyer. (E.g. a legitimate question is whether or not a
bombing a country with GPL software counts as distribution).

The Affero GPL (AGPL) license gets around this “loop hole”, and requires
you to publish the source code to your software even if your software
for a network service (e.g. a web site).


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