[Qgis-developer] import proprietary code inside a python plugin

Vincent Picavet vincent.ml at oslandia.com
Mon Mar 26 07:02:00 EDT 2012

Hi Giovanni,

Le lundi 26 mars 2012 12:45:39, G. Allegri a écrit :
> I had to create a python plugin to obatin some interactions with the ESRI
> ArcGIS Geoprocessing python framework. To do that, I need to import ESRI's
> libraries in my plugin, which are clearly not GLP'd :)
> Following a previous thread on this topic, I wonder if it's legal from the
> side of QGis (obviously it is ok from the ArcGIS's side having a licence
> for it).

From my point of view, after researches about this specific issue, you can't 
legally :

GPL is a copyleft licence, therefore «contamining» other libraries. All 
software piece which is linked to a GPL library must have a licence compatible 
with GPL.
An python «import» is considered as a link.

I would advise you to change your software to adopt a loose coupling strategy 
between the qgis part and the esri part, either through web services, data 
exchange over a file or a database or something else not considered as a link 
in the GPL sense.

I personnaly consider that libraries should not be under a GPL licence but a 
LGPL one, which keeps the opensource aspect while facilitating mixing with 
other softwares. GPL is fine with end user software built on top of LGPL libs.
That said, it would require to relicence all qgis source code as LGPL with all 
contributors agreeing to the change.
And this is only my personal view, I do not want to start a licence troll 


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