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

Cog Rusty cog.rusty at gmail.com
Fri Aug 31 17:50:11 UTC 2007

On 8/31/07, Gerhard Killesreiter <gerhard at killesreiter.de> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> David Strauss schrieb:
> > Cog Rusty wrote:
> >> I am all for system thinking and intended uses, but somehow I am
> >> losing the "parts" view here, things like responsibilities,
> >> consequences, legal or other.
> >>
> >> Suppose I write a spelling checker for MS Word in VBA (I don't really
> >> know VBA, just an example), with the clear intention to be used with
> >> MS Word and nothing else. I slap a GPL license file with no caveats on
> >> it and I distribute it. What happens now? What does it mean not to be
> >> GPL-compliant in this case, practically?
> >>
> >> MS or anyone else can take it, package it in some other software and
> >> sell it, claiming that it is not really GPL? Is that it?
> >
> > One of the beautiful things about the GPL is that, when it fails, normal
> > copyright takes over. So, if the GPL is shown to be invalid on something
> > you've created, other parties have *no rights* to distribute your work
> > without other permission.

I see. So practically nobody would have an interest in challenging the
GPL status of my software, not MS or another vendor, not the user, not
I (except if I changed my mind later). Only a project like Drupal
might challenge it, with the intention to maintain the "virality" of
its software.

> >> Also, because I have met lawyers before, are there any information
> >> about how the "system" interpretation ever did in court?
> >
> > For better or worse, the GPL hasn't seen too much time in court.
> Not much, but there have been several recent cases in Germany where
> hardware vendors selling Linux based appliances were taken to court and
> the courts ordered them to abide by the GPL and include source code etc.
> See http://gpl-violations.org/
> Cheers,
>         Gerhard
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> =ggyT

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