[development] MIT licensed widgets in d.o GPL repo?

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Fri Oct 20 09:09:36 UTC 2006

Thomas Barregren wrote:
> Gerhard Killesreiter skrev:
>> Chris Johnson wrote:
>>> I believe that the policy on anything in the drupal.org repository is 
>>> that it must be GPL licensed.  Even something with a more liberal 
>>> license, such as an MIT-licensed widget, would not be allowed.
>>> Is that correct?
>> Yes.
>> And then no again. If you, as a contributor, re-release the MIT 
>> licensed stuff under GPL you can commit it. I believe that such a 
>> re-release is possible with certain MIT type licenses.
>> If you choose this route, you shoudl probably document it rather well.
>> In general, we'd prefer you'd not do it, I guess.
>  From a license point of view, there is no problem to sublicense MIT 
> licensed software under GPL. As I said in an answer to Chris Johnson, 
> GPL and MIT are compatible, which means that it is not a violation of 
> GPL to use MIT source code or vice versa.

I didn't say there would be a problem.

>  From a policy point of view, the situation is a little bit more unclear 
> to me.When you apply for a CVS account, you must certify to "only commit 
> code that is licensed under terms of the GNU public license." The MIT 
> licensed code you commit isn't under GPL, so this could be an offence 
> against your own certification. But as soon as the code is commited, you 
> have created a "derivative work" which is under GPL; and hence the 
> possible offence is removed. Since GPL is about protecting your freedom, 
> and since GPL is compatible with the MIT license, I suppose it is okay 
> to check in MIT licensed and other GPL compatible code. IMHO it should 
> at least be so.

That is what I was trying to say. However, I called to document this. 
E.g. you should put something in a README file that tells people that 
the code was originally under MIT license and you (the contributor) 
re-license it under the GPL.

> I suggest that Drupal.org has a clear policy document stating that it is 
> allowed to check in any code that can be distributed under GPL. That 
> would take away much of the unclear points. 

Another important guideline other than "no non-GPL code" in CVS is "no 
third party code" in CVS. So if you find some code somewhere (say a 
JavaScript library) that is MIT licensed and you want to use it with 
your module the proper procedure would be to point out in the README 
that people have to go download said library there and there.

A possible exception would be that you need to modify the Library in 
some way to work with Drupal. But then you are creating a derivative 
work anyway and - if the original license allows this - can license that 
under GPL and put it into CVS.


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