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Please assume the following:

  • There is a GPL software (G), which provides API to write plugins to this software (GP).
  • There is a closed-source / proprietary software (P), which has an openly documented JSON messaging protocol, i.e., the manufacturer of (P) defined specific commands of the form {'command': 'get info', 'type': 'text'} to enable communication with (P).
  • (P) is an interface to a piece of hardware (not really a driver, but similar) designed for the mere purpose to deliver and receive information from other programs via the defined JSON command strings

I now write a plugin (GP) for (G), which communicates with the proprietary software (P) over the documented JSON protocol. (GP) and (P) exchange both simple text data and image data over this protocol. For example, (P) delivers some device information to the plugin (GP) upon requests. (GP) processes the information, prepares a image in a specific format based on the received information, and then sends this image to (P).

Are the proprietary software (P) and the GPL'ed plugin (GP) considered mere aggregates and can, thus, (GP) be published? Or would publishing (GP) violate the GPL, because it communicates with the proprietary software for which I don't have the source code?

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