I am creating an internal application for the company I am contracted to. We wish to use a GPLv2 licensed library in this application. Some points
- The application is to be used within the confines of the company and never be available for public use. It is for internal company use only.
- It will never be sold, ever!!. So no money will be made directly from selling the code. It's not a product.
- There are two forms of usage of the application
- Its native form which is console based exe (which uses the GPL library); and
- Usage via a web interface which calls the executable.
- The source code will remain closed source (company use only), and be propriety
I have gone through numerous questions on SO about this (one closed as off-topic and another unmarked from Programmers ), but I have had a hard time in understanding whether my interpretation of the licence is correct.
Based on my understanding thus far, I am permitted to use this library without any concern. I am not modifying the source code nor am I distributing the application or making the application publicly available. The application will not be sold nor will it be distributed to anyone outside the company (It will however be available at our company's offsite DR facility). I am very likely to use the released versions binaries and not re-compile from source.
The following question from the GNU FAQ seems to support my thoughts.
Does the GPL require that source code of modified versions be posted to the public?
The GPL does not require you to release your modified version, or any part of it. You are free to make modifications and use them privately, without ever releasing them. This applies to organizations (including companies), too; an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.
But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program's users, under the GPL.
Thus, the GPL gives permission to release the modified program in certain ways, and not in other ways; but the decision of whether to release it is up to you.
Can any GPLv2 licensed library be used in a company's internal intranet application?