[SciPy-user] python+maxima+latex for symbolic stuff

Joe Harrington jh at oobleck.astro.cornell.edu
Fri Nov 18 11:12:10 CST 2005

I agree that as long as you're just using the command line, you're
safe, though I wonder how complex the command lines have to be before
GNU regards them as integrated.  That's said...

1. I think (IANAL, etc.) that you're personally safe in that you don't
actually distribute maxima yourself.  If a derived work is created at
all, someone else is doing it.

2. If a distributor wanted to be paranoid, they could put all their
GPL software in one CD set, all the rest in another, distribute them
separately, and say, "if you get both CDs and install them as
advertized, you get the following added functionality".  That way, the
USER is creating any derived works.  Since the user didn't distribute
a copy of the derived work she created, she's safe.

2. Distribute under BOTH licenses.  Let the user decide which to use,
PERL style.  The GPL doesn't say that software that is combined with
it may not *also* be licensed under terms of other licenses, when not
combined with it.  It just says that it must be licensed under GPL
when used with other GPL software.  Symbolics.com still sells a
commercial version of MACSYMA.  So, someone commercial wanting to sell
it binary-only and being nervous about maxima's GPL could contribute
an interface to MACSYMA and bundle that (after dealing with Symbolics'
lawyers), or could (try to) cut a deal for a different license with
the authors of maxima, or could (hah!) develop their own MACSYMA
clone.  Your option for BSD-style licensing would then already be
available to them.

3. Anyone packaging the combined program would have to put in the
source code to maxima, under its GNU license.  In that case, they
would probably not care whether they distributed the source to your
program as well.


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