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

Peter Wolanin pwolanin at gmail.com
Mon Sep 3 02:39:26 UTC 2007

On a practical note, SugarCRM is being released under GPL 3.0:



CiviCRM is AGPL (compat with GPL 3.0, but not 2.0):


While these are FOSS licenses, they represent technical violations (I
think) if an integration module is offered on d.o or by that project,


On 9/2/07, Jeff Eaton <jeff at viapositiva.net> wrote:
> On Sep 2, 2007, at 9:43 AM, Darren Oh wrote:
> > So far this whole discussion seems to be a case of ask the wrong
> > question, get the wrong answer. I have seen no evidence to suggest
> > that one cannot write some code that depends on non-free software,
> > release it under the GPL, and have the GPL apply to that code. What
> > would be against the spirit of the GPL would be to write code that
> > depends on GPL software and to release only a compatibility layer
> > under the GPL, keeping the main functionality non-free. Since 1)
> > the third-party apps that are being integrated do not depend on
> > Drupal and 2) the module authors do not own the rights to the code
> > in the third-party apps, this issue is irrelevant to the situation
> > under discussion.
> I used to take this position as well, but it's apparent after quite a
> bit of research that this is based on loose use of the phrase
> "depends on" to define the terms of the discussion. The GPL doesn't
> use those words. It doesn't recognize a difference between a piece of
> software that *uses* a library, and the library that *is used by*
> another program. It simply sees those two programs being combined to
> form a single work if they interoperate in certain ways.
> As such, if they do not share compatible licenses, they can't be
> distributed together. And if one component is clearly designed to
> work *only in the presence of the other component* it is an implicit
> violation of the GPL. (According to the FSF).
> That's their official interpretation.
> --Jeff

More information about the development mailing list