Mixing licenses

Chuck Swiger chuck at codefab.com
Tue Apr 21 16:51:34 UTC 2009

Hi, Vlad--

On Apr 21, 2009, at 6:48 AM, Vlad Stanimir wrote:
> I want to create a  video editing program licensed under the new BSD  
> license.The program will use a plugin based codec, like mpeg.exe,or  
> avi.exe for decoding/encoding  and parsing respectively.Now lets say  
> that mpeg.exe is licensed under gpl, and i have another plugin  
> wmv.exe with is proprietary licensed. Now mpeg.exe and wmv.exe dont  
> talk to each other  but they both talk to Videoeditor.exe and are  
> both  distributed in the same installer, wil that be a problem with  
> GPL?

According to GPLv2 clause 2, most probably not:

"In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
the scope of this License."

An installer package is clearly a distribution medium, and, so long as  
mpeg.exe and wmv.exe are separate programs that do not depend on each  
other, you should be fine.

(Std. Disclaimer: this is just an opinion, and not even that of  
someone qualified to give legal advice.)


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