[development] Drupal's CVS policies... including 'foriegn' code in TinyMCE module?

Jakob Petsovits jpetso at gmx.at
Mon May 21 19:54:50 UTC 2007

On Monday, 21. May 2007, Ashraf Amayreh wrote:
> As far as I know, according to GPL if you change anything in the files the
> code is "yours". I don't know about LGPL though.

It's not so complicated actually. Here's roughly how those licenses work
(not to be taken as legal advice, IANAL):

GPL (the "viral" license):
"If your software uses GPL code then all of the software's code must, under 
all circumstances, also be licensed under the GPL. There's no way you can 
base proprietary software on GPL code."

LGPL (a superset of the GPL, mainly used for libraries):
"If you change something in the code itself, you must also release it under 
the LGPL. But if you just base your code on this library, you can put your 
own code under any license you like."

BSD / MIT X11 (the free-for-all):
"Do what you like with this code, you only need to keep the copyright header."

As the original author, I keep my copyright though, for all three of them.
If I don't use any other (L)GPL code in my software, I'm free to release any 
subsequent versions under any license that I want to.

Now, mixing is very straightforward:
If there's GPL code in any part of your software, everything else is also GPL.
You can mix LGPL and BSD / MIT X11 with GPL, because they are
"GPL compatible", that is, lax enough to allow relicensing under the GPL.

LGPL+proprietary = LGPL+proprietary
BSD+proprietary = proprietary

> And no, you don't have to change every file since this is how linux works,
> surely ubuntu doesn't change all of debian's source files to call it ubuntu.
> Change the configuration files of the TinmyMCE and according to GPL (LGPL?)
> the code is yours, you're no longer posting code that's external.

Nobody needs to change any files. If you're distributing LGPL code together 
with GPL code, the whole of it is automatically licensed under the GPL.

> Any GPL or GPL gurus knowledge on this is welcome since my knowledge on it
> may not be totally accurate.

While I don't dare to call myself a guru, I hope I could shed some light on 
this issue, and that I was able to present it in an appropriate way.


More information about the development mailing list