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

Jeff Eaton jeff at viapositiva.net
Fri Aug 31 18:06:41 UTC 2007

On Aug 31, 2007, at 11:40 AM, David Strauss wrote:

> The license itself says, "Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute
> verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not
> allowed." Paragraph 6 says nothing about producing a modified  
> version of
> the GPL. MySQL's exception is rendered as a separate exception  
> document,
> not a modification of the GPL. This distinction is important because
> people redistributing the code aren't obligated to allow the  
> exceptions
> granted by the original licensor.
> So, I stand by my statement that, "Direct GPL variants are only  
> allowed
> with approval of the FSF." See the AGPL for an example of an approved
> variant.

The 'exception document' is an interesting idea, and I'd like to  
explore this concept further with some advice from the FSF. We don't  
want to create an altered version of the GPL (obviously), but I  
wonder if the exception document would make sense to include in  
Drupal's default download, clarifying some things like the status of  
theme template files, 'intermediate' integration modules, etc.

As noted by the FSF, however, it's difficult to open the door to  
integration modules 'officially' without opening the door to closed- 
source modules. It becomes easy for someone to simply build their  
functionality as a closed source module, and wrap it in a  
'compatibility layer' rather than engaging with the community and  
participating in the sharing of code and resources that has made the  
Drupal world thrive.


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