Base Perl modules with BSD software

Allison Randal allison at
Fri Jul 13 03:16:40 UTC 2007

Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Alex wrote:
>> I am writing a piece of software that I want to license as BSD. I am
>> using Perl, which is licensed under both the GPL and its own Artistic
>> License.
>> what about the modules included with Perl? Could a statement as simple as "use Carp"
>> force my program to be licensed under the GPL?
> I believe most of the modules included in Perl use Artistic/GPL.
> Artistic is explicitly not a copyleft license, and says, "The scripts
> and library files supplied as input to or produced as output from the
> programs of this Package do not automatically fall under the copyright
> of this Package, but belong to whomever generated them, and may be sold
> commercially, and may be aggregated with this Package."  That means if
> you only use Perl/Artistic modules you shouldn't have to be under the GPL.

Yes, under the terms of the Artistic License, simply using a module or 
the Perl interpreter itself doesn't make your program subject to the 
terms of the Artistic License. (And the dual license means you can 
choose between the Artistic terms and GPL terms, not that you have to 
obey all the terms of both licenses.)

So, it's fine to create a BSD licensed piece of software written in Perl 
and using Perl modules (check the license of the Perl modules, but most 
of them are "the same terms as Perl" or pure Artistic).


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