License for code which generates code

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Thu Jul 17 22:51:14 UTC 2008

edA-qa mort-ora-y <eda-qa at> writes:

> I have a project which takes an input file and generates code from
> it -- a compile in the *loosest* sense of the word.
> I would like that the main code be GPL, but I also want that anybody
> can do whatever they want with the generated code (much as how free
> compilers tend to work).

They tend to work that way because people have determined that the
output of the compiler is not "derived", in copyright terms, from the
work that is the compiler itself.

I don't know if that legal theory has held up under the stress of an
actual trial.

> How do I go about doing this split licensing?

If it is clear that the works generated by your program are not
"derived works" of the program, then you may not need a split license
at all since copyright on the program would not have any effect on
copyright of the works it generates.

Consult a copyright lawyer, asking specifically about derived works
and the above determinants.

 \       “Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of |
  `\          others.” —Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_, 1906 |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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