Some IDEs (or code editors like Notepad++) are released under GPL. If I decide to make a program using the IDE, do I have to release my program under the GPL? Or is it only if I take code from the open source?


No, you would not. See the GPL FAQ.

Can I use GPL-covered editors such as GNU Emacs to develop non-free programs? Can I use GPL-covered tools such as GCC to compile them?

Yes, because the copyright on the editors and tools does not cover the code you write. Using them does not place any restrictions, legally, on the license you use for your code.

Some programs copy parts of themselves into the output for technical reasons—for example, Bison copies a standard parser program into its output file. In such cases, the copied text in the output is covered by the same license that covers it in the source code. Meanwhile, the part of the output which is derived from the program's input inherits the copyright status of the input.

As it happens, Bison can also be used to develop non-free programs. This is because we decided to explicitly permit the use of the Bison standard parser program in Bison output files without restriction. We made the decision because there were other tools comparable to Bison which already permitted use for non-free programs.

  • @TheLQ .-. why? – Edward Strange Feb 26 '11 at 2:59
  • @Crazy Eddie - answers should be selfstanding, making them usable in printouts. – user1249 Apr 14 '11 at 21:07

No, you're free to use the tool for its intended purpose. Only if you use part of its code are you bound by its license.

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