Re: Doxygen for commercial documentation?

Subject: Re: Doxygen for commercial documentation?
From: "Ethan Metsger" <emetsger -at- obj-sys -dot- com>
To: "Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)" <moshe -dot- kruger -at- gmail -dot- com>, "John Harrington" <beartiger -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 08:27:37 -0500

On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 16:48:14 -0500, Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)
<moshe -dot- kruger -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> The GNU GPL limits the distribution of software. It seems, therefore,
> that
> your question seems invalid as far as documentation goes, for in the
> case of
> documention *no software* is distributed.

I mentioned this off list, I think, but the GPL only applies to software
released under its provisions. The documentation you create for your
software is not governed by the GPL, and it seems legally tenuous for any
license to claim authority over its generated artifacts. (My company is
in the code generation business, and our license doesn't restrict the
distribution of generated code.)

The full text of the GPL can be found at
(this is version 2; version 3 came out last year). The pertinent clause:

0. This License applies to any program or other work which contains a
notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under
the terms of this General Public License. The "Program", below, refers to
any such program or work, and a "work based on the Program" means either
the Program or any derivative work under copyright law: that is to say, a
work containing the Program or a portion of it, either verbatim or with
modifications and/or translated into another language. (Hereinafter,
translation is included without limitation in the term "modification".)
Each licensee is addressed as "you".

Generated documentation is not "based on the program" because it doesn't
contain any of Doxygen's source code at all. You could have your legal
guys dissect this, but I'm pretty confident you shouldn't have any issues
distributing doxygen-generated documentation due to licensing
constraints. You could also simply write to the maintainers to ask.


Ethan (emetsger -at- obj-sys -dot- com)

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Doxygen for commercial documentation?: From: John Harrington
Re: Doxygen for commercial documentation?: From: Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)

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