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

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Fri Aug 31 14:27:25 UTC 2007

On Friday 31 August 2007, Piermaria Maraziti wrote:
> At 01.50 31/08/2007, you wrote:
> >The difference here could be that these are compiled programs and
> >DLLs... could be different legalese than a script lang like PHP.
> It is a fairly small difference to me. An API is an API and the fact
> that it is compiled in a DLL or scripted, apart from the visibility
> of code has no real philosophical or legalese difference.
> #include in a scripting language or dll loading instructions in
> C/C++/Delphi are, semantically, equivalent and the difference that in
> the first case PHP will parse & tokenize the non-GPL'ed script on the
> fly while the DLL was compiled away and given as-is is a minor one.
> Please, if you tell me I'm "completely wrong" at least have the
> kindness of saying me why. Thanks. :-)

Actually there is a legal difference between "statically linked" 
and "dynamically linked" (DLL) code.  That's why the GPL and LGPL exist as 
two separate licenses.

Of course, that predates the concept of powerful interpreted languages 
(PHP), "everything is dynamic by design" languages (Java), etc.  I don't know 
off hand if that distinction has been tested in court yet in interpreted 
languages (but lots of LGPLed code exists for in PHP, like Smarty, so it 
seems the common wisdom is that it's OK, rightly or wrongly.)

Larry Garfield			AIM: LOLG42
larry at garfieldtech.com		ICQ: 6817012

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of 
exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, 
which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to 
himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession 
of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."  -- Thomas 

More information about the development mailing list