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

Thomas Barregren thomas at webbredaktoren.se
Fri Aug 31 23:30:22 UTC 2007

Laura Scott skrev:
> On Aug 31, 2007, at 4:48 PM, Thomas Barregren wrote:
>>> To avoid this sort of GPL Hell, we have very specific terms on which we
>>> work with clients:
>>> (1) The client owns the work we do specifically for them.
>>> (2) The client licenses .module files and their dependencies back to us
>>> under the GPL, version 2, and all future versions as published by 
>>> the FSF.
>>> The terms of (2) mean their internal staff can contribute to the
>>> project, but the final working modules are licensed back to us in a
>>> GPL-clean way that allows us to return the work to the community.
>> The other way around works as well. You can keep the intellectual 
>> property rights yourself and license the software under GPL to your 
>> customer.
> Does it? That's the real bone of contention in this thread, at least 
> for me and I suspect not a few others. I guess that whether licensing 
> the result of consulting/development work that is *not* work-for-hire 
> constitutes "distribution."

For consulting there is at least three different ways to do it:

  * The David Strauss way (which is very nice)
  * The other way around (as I described)
  * The neighbourly way

By "the neighbourly way" I allude on "the freedom to redistribute copies 
so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2)". You download Drupal and 
distribute it without modifications to your customer. Then you help your 
customer to integrate their copy of Drupal with the non-GPLed software. 
Since the derived work never is distributed it is not a violation of GPL.


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