Subject: Re: commercial application development
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 04 Jun 2003 20:08:54 -0700

"Miller, Aaron" <> writes:

> I have searched and searched online for an explanation to this question, so
> if I have missed a faq that details this please accept my apology and point
> me in the right direction.

Well, there's this, if it helps:

> My question concerns using perl, perl::dbi, mysql, postgres, etc to develop
> commercial applications.  Can an application be written in perl and use a
> mysql/postgres datastore without the requirement of releasing the
> application code?  There would be no modifications made to the installed
> versions of these applications.  An example would be a CGI frontend to a DB.
> An explanation from a license perspective(GPL/LGPL/Artistic License/etc)
> rather than an application by application perspective would be appreciated.

Free software licenses normally control distribution, not use.  So if
you are not distributing the application, then you do not need to
release anything.  This would often be the case for code which only
runs on your web server, for example.  However, this is not true of
the Open Software License; I don't know of any packages currently
using that license.

Free software licenses normally control distribution only of the
software itself, not of output generated by the program nor input read
by the program.  So if you are distributing the application, and you
are not using any free software libraries, you may need to include the
source for the free software components, but not for other components.
Any restrictions on this depend upon the particular programs in
question; as far as I know, none of the programs you mentioned impose
restrictions on the input or output.

If you are using free software libraries, it would be better if you
provided more details rather than my discussing each possible case.

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