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Re: Octave parallel computing toolbox

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: Octave parallel computing toolbox
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 03:57:52 -0500

On 25-Jan-2008, Ganesh Bikshandi wrote:

| We plan to release the Octave/Matlab port as a toolbox. There will be
| a pure Octave/Matlab layer, that users are exposed to. The layer will
| internally make calls to our existing library (in C++ -- release under
| EPL), thru mex interface. That library itself makes calls to IBM
| Copyrighted lbraries, internally. So there is a whole lot of licensing
| issues, that I am not completely aware of. I have to talk to legal
| advisers of my company to resolve those issues.
| Form the GNU GPL FAQ, I have inferred that there is no licensing issue
| if we use the toolbox "privately" without releasing. So, we can use
| Octave for development and testing of our toolbox.  I hope this should
| not pose any problem, when we later distribute the toolbox under EPL
| for Matlab users. (Octave users can use it too, but not redistribute
| it , right?)

If you could distribute it to users, but users couldn't redistribute
it, how would that be compatible with the GPL?

If your plugin is a derivative work of Octave (for example, uses
Octave internal data structures as any .oct file would), then the GPL
applies, and in that case, it doesn't matter how you distribute the code
(separately or together, binary or source) I think that GPLv3 clearly
states that all the parts must be available under GPL-compatible terms
(see sections 5 and 6, specifically 5(c)).

But in any case, if you only use the mex interface, there is not much
way that we can claim your plugin is a derivative work of Octave.

Also, there is no restriction on what license you use for .m files,
but we would hope that you choose a GPL-compatible license for those.


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