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GPL license question

Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:57 pm
by jettravel
Can a commercial.exe (non GPL) work with a GPL_Program.exe just via running the other program with a text file of non-proprietary instructions that any user of GPL_Program.exe could also do?

If I make a GPL_utility.exe and distribute source and binary for free. And GPL_utlity.exe communicates with ffmpeg.exe via command line, I'm assuming that I can include ffmpeg.exe with my GPL_utility.exe. Is that correct? The GPL_Utility.exe works by reading a text file of instructions for desired manipulation of audio or video files. Anyone getting the program can make up a text file of what they want to see happen, and then run GPL_Utility.exe and it will happen.

Now if I have a commercial.exe app, that could communicate with GPL_utility.exe in the same way that the users can above (by wraciting a text file) and then running GPL_Utility.exe, and there is no other communication between the commercial.exe and the GPL_Utility.exe. Note that the text file of instructions are just saying what the user wants to see happen to the audio and video files, like EncodeThisFileName=file1.wav and are not instructions for ffmpeg for example).

So if commercial.exe is nonGPL program, and runs a GPL program (GPL_Utility.exe which then runs ffmpeg), and everything is just running an EXE with no communication/linking/propietary data etc., is it OK that commercial.exe is non GPL?