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I was reading over the GNU General Public License a couple days ago and began to wonder how it applies to Perl modules. It has been my perception that the vast majority of modules on CPAN use the GPL but I haven't heard of any discussions regarding this issue. Quick searches on the subject, both here and on google, turned up nothing.

While I am not a copyright lawyer (you had to know that was coming ;) it seems that selling code that uses GPL'd modules is justifiable because you are doing just that, selling the code that uses the modules, not selling the modules themselves. In addition there is also the approach of charging for customization/installation of a script that uses a GPL'd module. However there are other conditions of the GPL that come into play.

1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program.

Would this require that you email the client a copy of the GPL with each module installation? or is this already covered through some other means?

I'm interested in hearing what procedure most monks use when installing GPL'd modules or selling code that uses such modules. Has anyone ever encountered problems in this area? or is there some aspect of this issue that I have totally overlooked? Thanks in advance for all of your replies.


In reply to Using GPL'd Perl Modules in Commercial Software by cjf

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