[development] Modules that integrate non-GPL PHP apps violatethe GPL.

Thomas Barregren thomas at webbredaktoren.se
Fri Aug 31 09:45:17 UTC 2007

Larry Garfield skrev:
> Hrm.  So, a few applied examples:
> Suppose for a moment that TinyMCE was non-GPL.  Someone other than the TinyMCE authors writes our TinyMCE module, which is a wrapper with value-add around TinyMCE to make it work in Drupal.  The TinyMCE module is distributed GPL, and end-users are expected to download TinyMCE themselves and put them together.  There is no distribution of the combined code.  Legal or illegal?

Illegal. See


However, if both Drupal and the module makes an exception, it is legal. 
There are two common exceptions made: The FLOSS Exception and the 
Controlled Interface Exception. See


> I was always under the impression that was legal, since there was no distribution of non-GPLed code and GPLed code together.  nVidia is, too, since that's how the nvidia drivers for Linux work. :-)  (non-Free driver and GPLed wrapper that goes into the kernel.)
> Scenario 2: A theme engine that is designed to consume non-PHPTemplate template files produced by a non-Free system, such as Dreamweaver or a design-time CMS.  Legal or illegal?

Legal. The output of Drupal is not a derivative work based on Drupal. 
Hence GPL don't apply. Furthermore, the template is just data to Drupal.

There are several related answers in the GPL FAQ. Here are a few:

  * http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#GPLOutput
  * http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#WMS

Best regards,

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