Gerhard Fuernkranz wrote:
IMO only "programs" which contain GPL components must be be delivered under a GPL compatible license too. The interpretation of the FSF seems to be that a "program" comprises all components which run in the same address space (with the exception of usual standard libraries, like e.g. libc). This implies that only LINKING other software with GPL components requires to distribute the other software under a GPL compatible license too, while this restriction does not apply if the other software just executes GPL programs as separate processes. Any modifications of GPL components must of course be distributed under the GPL too (if distributed at all).
But this only addresses running the software, and as such is a reasonable interpretation of the fact they are separate programs, and not really one program.
This does not address a package though. A package is a work in itself, and if the package is composed of different programs, one of which depends on another in the package for some of it's features (irrespective of how they communicate), then the features of the package are certainly derived from that program, and hence the package is a derived work. See section 0 of the GNU licence.
I also think that distributing the sources on the web server is not sufficient, if the binaries are distributed e.g. on CD. Either the sources must be distributed on the CD as well (accompanying the binaries), or the binaries must be accompanied with a WRITTEN OFFER to provide the sources on a usual medium (such a "medium" can IMO eventually also be a download from the server, but at least the written offer is necessary). Details can be found in the GPL text.
Yes, this is the usual interpretation of the licence.