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Re: [Winmerge-development] Distributing winmerge with commercial application

From: Simon Large <simon.tortoisesvn_at_googlemail.com>
Date: 2007-11-10 19:13:23 CET

On 10/11/2007, Vinay Gandhi <vinaygandhi@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you for your reply and suggestion.
> Please suggest if we are violating any rules (including GPL) by doing the followings:
> 1. Take the zip binaries available from WinMerge website
> 2. Take TortoiseIDiff from TortoiseSVN installer
> 3. Take xdocdiff + xdoc2txt winmerge plugin from http://freemind.s57.xrea.com/xdocdiffPlugin/en/index.html
> 4. Package all the above three components into one zip file
> 5. Host this newly created zip file on our website for people to use with links to winmerge, tortoise and freemind websites
> 6. Our installer will ask user to download this newly created zip file if user wishes to do so. This installer page will explain
> that these applications are under GPL.
> 7. If user choose to download, we will unzip these applications into our program folder.
> 8. User also has a choice to download this zip file themselves and configure them manually.
> Regards,
> Vinay
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kimmo Varis" <kimmov@winmerge.org>
> To: "Vinay Gandhi" <vinaygandhi@hotmail.com>; <winmerge-development@lists.sourceforge.net>
> Cc: <winmerge-dev@lists.sourceforge.net>
> Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 1:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [Winmerge-development] Distributing winmerge with commercial application
> Hi,
> and sorry for the late response. I've also added our development mailing
> list as cc.
> > We have developed a commercial application which allows our users to
> > configure external compare tools. It would be very helpful for users, if
> > our application can configure these external compare tools automatically.
> >
> > WinMerge is under GPL license and therefore it is not possible for us to
> > bundle WinMerge with our application.
> >
> > Is it possible for us to do the followings:
> >
> > 1. Create a separate installer with additional plugin like xdocdiff to
> > compare ppt, pdf etc. format + TortoiseIDiff (for image compare)
> > 2. Host it on our website
> > 3. Our commercial application installer will prompt users to download
> > these external compare tools if they wish.
> > 4. If they choose to download, our installer will download these
> > external compare tools and configure for our application.
> >
> > Your help in this matter will be highly appreciated.
> Please also note this is just my personal opinion and understanding of GPL.
> I don't think GPL (v2) restricts distributing GPL software with
> commercial software. As long as you distribute binaries compiled from
> our non-modified sources. If you modify our sources and distribute
> binaries compiled from them, you need to publish the changes you did to
> WinMerge sources. If you fix a bug in WinMerge, you need to publish
> source changes for that bugfix.
> You can download (or make your installer to download) WinMerge installer
> and run it. If you alter our installer and distribute it, then you need
> to publish the changes you did.

IIUC you can distribute GPL programs alongside commercial apps, and
you can include them in your installer, provided they are completely
separate and don't have direct communication. An application that
would *not* be good for this would be TSVNCache which communicates
directly with TortoiseProc.exe through system data sharing mechanisms.
But TortoiseMerge and TortoiseIDiff are standalone apps.


But IANAL. If you want a definitive answer the best place to ask such
a question is on the free software foundation mailing list. But the
FAQ above contains a fairly exhaustive list of questions and answers.


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Received on Sat Nov 10 19:13:47 2007

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