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

Thomas Barregren thomas at webbredaktoren.se
Fri Aug 31 23:53:51 UTC 2007

David Strauss skrev:
> Thomas Barregren wrote:
>> Wrong. You are allowed to add ny terms and condition you which as long
>> as long as you don't impose any further restrictions on the recipients'
>> exercise of the rights granted in GPL. See paragraph 6 of GPL v2 (which
>> is used by Drupal). In fact, FSF/GNU tells you to add such notice to
>> allow use of non-GPL libraryies. Read the FAQ:
> 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.

It is true that the GPL itself cannot be modified without permission 
from FSF. But you are entitled to add a notice to allow for instance 
linking against non-GPLed libraries.

>>> I'm not sure that's a problem. The GPL only affects redistribution, not
>>> what a person does on his or her own computer. Just ensure the forbidden
>>> integration isn't distributed. (If I'm wrong here, I'd like to know.)
>> Wrong. If a module depends on a software with a license not compatible
>> with GPL, then that module can't be distributed under GPL.
> If you're going to call someone "wrong," you had better be right:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLIncompatibleLibs
> That FAQ item gives instructions for releasing something under the GPL
> that links to non-free libraries.
Yes, but that is not what I claimed to be wrong. The problem lies in the 
fact that Drupal.org distributes modules which depends on non-GPLed 
code. That is not permitted, since Drupal.org doesn't have the proviso 
described in the FAQ. (I would certain endorse a such proviso.)


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