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License-Related: Can you use ProM-Plugins without being subject to viral GPL?

andreTandreT Posts: 5
Hi all,
as part of a thesis I am currently working on integrating an (somewhat automated) process discovery-feature into a PAIS.
Since ProM 6.3, the ProM-Core is under the viral GNU GPL, while most Plugins (also the ones interesting to me) are under L-GPL.
On http://promtools.org/doku.php, is is stated that "[...] you can download and install the plug-ins [that are under L-GPL] without restrictions, and that you are free to distribute software that uses these plug-ins using your own license. However, [...]".
My understanding what follows: To run ProM-Plugins, you need to provide instances of classes in the core, e. g.  'context' as a parameter. To create these instances, I have to use software, that is under GPL, so I can only distribute the resulting Project as a whole under GPL.

Am I correct with that understanding or do I miss something here? Where exactly does the GPL-relevant part begin? Because my understanding seems to contradict with the statement from the website mentioned above.

Best, Andre

P.S. I was also wondering how the Plugins evade the GPL, as they also depend on, import and use classes that I think belong to the Core.


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Comments

  • hverbeekhverbeek Posts: 383
    Hi Andre,

    In theory you're right: The GPL from the ProM framework should affect the license of the ProM packages. However, we (the owner of the ProM framework) allow for this discrepancy. If the ProM package uses a different license like L-GPL, we're fine.

    If you embed the ProM framework in your own software and distribute that, then you are bound to the GPL license. Similarly, if you embed a ProM package that uses some license in your software an distribute that, then you are bound to the license of that package.

    As long as you are not distributing your software, you're fine.

    Kind regards,

    Eric.
  • andreTandreT Posts: 5
    Thank you very much Eric,
    your answer helps me a lot.
    And thanks for answering questions in the forum so fast and well!
    Best,
    André
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