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

Thomas Barregren thomas at webbredaktoren.se
Sat Sep 1 18:33:20 UTC 2007

Ken Rickard skrev:
> Jeff-
> Two questions, mercifully brief, for all:
> 1) Should we escalate this to the Drupal Association to pull in some 
> lawyerly resources? 
> I presume the answer is "no" here, as I hear killes in my head saying 
> "Drupal follows GPL; end of discussion."

Since Drupal.org distributes the possible offending modules, it is not 
enough to just say that "Drupal follows GPL; end of discussion."

I think there is three issues worth further consideration:

   1. Would Drupal benefit from having some sort of FOSS License
      Exception? Especially considering the problem with libraries under
      the PHP license.
   2. Is it advisable for Drupal.org to distribute modules that depends
      on software under a GPL-incompatible license?
   3. Could a Linking Over Controlled Interface Exception, for hooks and
      some other unctions (e.g. t() and l()), be a a feasible solution
      to allow distribution of modules that depends on software under a
      GPL-incompatible license?

> 2)  How does this affect Edison Wong's (and many others') work on 
> Oracle / DB2 integration for Drupal core?  Can GPL software invoke 
> data directly from a non-GPL storage system?

It depends. If the access can be done without knowing the internals of 
the non-GPLed storage system, for example through SQL, it is not a 
problem. But if the access requires a non-GPLed driver, then we have a 
problem. I haven't followed the work by Wong et al so I can't speak for 
that particular case.

Best regards,

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