Artistic License

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Fri May 13 18:00:55 UTC 2011

On May 13, 2011, at 2:37 AM, Dale wrote:
> To create a binary executable in Perl you use the utility "pp" 
> According to the license notice :
> "Neither this program nor the associated parl program impose any licensing restrictions on files generated by their execution, in accordance with the 8th article of the Artistic License:
>     "Aggregation of this Package with a commercial distribution is
>     always permitted provided that the use of this Package is embedded;
>     that is, when no overt attempt is made to make this Package's
>     interfaces visible to the end user of the commercial distribution.
>     Such use shall not be construed as a distribution of this Package."
> Therefore, you are absolutely free to place any license on the resulting executable, as long as the packed 3rd-party libraries are also available under the Artistic License."

It's normally the case that compiler toolchains do not impose their own licensing onto the things they compile.  It's also normally the case that you can statically or dynamically link to the "standard library", also without needing to ensure it is under a compatible license with your stuff.

In this particular case, it seems they are noting the sections of the Artistic license which are somewhat similar to the LGPL in terms of the libraries being pulled in to the executable.

> may I create an executable with "pp" which comprises of modules of various licenses, such as BSD,Artistic,GPL and license this executable under GPL?

So long as all of the modules are have licenses which are GPL-miscible, presumably yes.  (IANAL, TINLA)

> Also what does "commercial distribution" mean? If I make a GPL application and charge for distribution fees, is that rendered as a commercial application?

One of the weaknesses of the Artistic license v1 (from which the terms you mentioned above are from) is that it never defines what it means by "commercial distribution".  Version 2 of the Artistic license makes it clear that "distribution fees" are permitted, and "license fees" are forbidden.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list