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

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Sat Sep 1 00:31:08 UTC 2007

On Friday 31 August 2007, Thomas Barregren wrote:

> Suppose you have a GPLed program A and another program B. The fact that
> A depends on B (or vice versa) is not enough to trigger the requirement
> that B also is GPLed. For an example it is perfect legal to let B be non
> GPLed if A use fork and exec and similar mechanisms to call B. A special
> case of this proviso is the "web service loophole". It is only if A uses
> a function, an object or some other internals of B, or vice versa, that
> B is required to be GPLed. Thus, for any construction where A and B can
> collaborate without knowing or assuming anything about each others
> internals, it is acceptable that B isn't GPLed.
> So, if you want to build a module that can be used to integrate a
> software with a license incompatible with GPL, I *believe* that a
> solution is to build a GPLed Service Provider Interface (SPI) which
> makes no assumption about the internals of the service providers.
> Regards,
> Thomas

So you are claiming, then, that a Drupal wrapper module for a non-GPLed system 
that communicated only via REST calls (or similar) but still had no actual 
function of its own without that non-GPLed system, is legal?

Just for the record, how many of the people in this thread actually *are* 
lawyers? :-)

Larry Garfield			AIM: LOLG42
larry at garfieldtech.com		ICQ: 6817012

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of 
exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, 
which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to 
himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession 
of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."  -- Thomas 

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