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

Ken Rickard agentrickard at gmail.com
Sat Sep 1 20:25:53 UTC 2007

I'm not a lawyer, either.  But in my day job, I'm the last guy who reviews
things before calling one.


- Ken

On 9/1/07, Thomas Barregren <thomas at webbredaktoren.se> wrote:
> 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,
> Thomas
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