Clarifying the GnuPG License

David Smith Dave.Smith at
Wed Jun 12 13:21:20 CEST 2013

On 06/12/13 10:49, Nils Faerber wrote:
> Am 12.06.2013 07:24, schrieb Navin:
>> Since GnuPG comes under the GPL, I would like to clarify if a person's
>> proprietary software makes use of GnuPG purely by invocation of the
>> commandline commands, and the GnuPG exe's and DLL's are bundled
>> unmodified with the person's proprietary software, can the person use
>> GnuPG commercially in this manner without having to publish his/her
>> source code?
> IANAL but from my understanding:
> 1. by invocation of the commandline commands: Yes
> 2. invocation of GnuPG exe: Yes
> 3. Linking, dynamically or statically, against a GnuPG DLL, presumed
> that it is licensed under GPL: No

IANAL either, but that is also my understanding.

If you do ship GnuPG with a proprietary application under options 1 or
2, you also have to include the GnuPG source code (or an offer to
provide it on request).  Just providing a link to the main GnuPG site
(or a mirror) is technically not sufficent (unless you enter into an
agreement with the person that operates that site to provide the
downloads on your behalf).

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