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I'm still not clear on QGIS licensing ...

I am contracted to write a system that has nothing to do with GIS and GIS analysis, but goes around managing animal tags, and I want to use QGIS to draw on a panel in my app, and display a map of where the animals are as a secondary function.

The app is for a specific client and will not be publicly distributed (sold and installed on client specific computers only and not sold as a program to the public). Does my program still have to be GPL, which will be a problem since there is a lot of other private copyrighted code involved, or do I only have to provide QGIS source code on request?

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GPL requires that you have to give code to people who has binaries. So if you create in house application you dont have to share code, but if you sell your program to someone, you need to give code too. disclaimer i may be wrong , but thats how i have understood it. And im not sure does GPL force you whole program to GPL or just modified parts of GPL code – simplexio Apr 12 '13 at 12:23

This is taken straight from the GPL license:

This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Lesser General Public License instead of this License.

This is taken from the GPL FAQ page:

If a library is released under the GPL (not the LGPL), does that mean that any program which uses it has to be under the GPL?

Yes, because the program as it is actually run includes the library.

So here is my quick understanding of GPL. If you use a GPL licensed library in your application or in a library that you create, then that library must be licensed as GPL.

TL;DR: Yes, your code has to be GPL also. If you do not want to make it GPL, then you should look for software with a different license to achieve your goal.

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