Subject: Re: Potentially Thorny GPL Issue
From: Guido van Rossum <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 15:46:03 -0400

> I am creating a work for a client that the client does *not* want
> GPLed. My main concern is that we have used Jython in the
> development process (okay... actually relied very heavily on
> Jython), and are using a GPLed Java installer program to distribute
> the app to the end user. I would very much prefer to not have to
> rewrite the Jython parts in Java and to use something like
> InstallAnywhere for the installer, but will have no choice if the
> GPL will compel me to release source for the project... eg... the
> client would shit himself if the source were released. 
> Wait, I just took a look at the Jython2.0 licence and it is pre GPL
> (I believe the 2.1 is GPLed),

I don't think so.  Python 2.0.1 has a *GPL-compatible* license, which
just means it is a very liberal open source license.  (More like BSD
but written by more verbose lawyers. :-)

Many open source license add restrictions that are OK with the OSD but
don't jive with the GPL; this was unfortunately the case with some
Python releases: 1.6, 2.0, 2.1 were GPL-incompatible, but 2.0.1 is
GPL-compatinble, and so will 2.1.1 and later versions be once they are

While I can't speak for the Jython developers, I very much doubt that
they would switch to a GPL license!

> so that isn't an issue... but the
> installer? Does the use of a GPLed program to deliver a non GPLed
> program violate the GPL? 

I would doubt it, although the details may depend on how it works.

Imagine a GPL'ed archive creation program -- that doesn't make the
contents of the archives you create fall under the GPL!

--Guido van Rossum (home page: