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

ttw+drupal at cobbled.net ttw+drupal at cobbled.net
Mon Sep 3 11:05:26 UTC 2007

On 02.09-15:47, Jeff Eaton wrote:
[ ... ]
> 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).

thank you for finally putting this clearly.  i am not a lawyer but
i concur.

what still confuses me, however, is that i recall a law suit with one
of the larger software companies about 10 years ago where they sued
a smaller company for reverse engineering their code to write compatible
software.  the case was lost (as i recall) on the basis that once you
had purchased something you were entitled to use it to access your
data (which you still had ownership over) in whatever manner you chose
(including reverse engineering and interfacing with those components
to better access your information).  my understanding of the gpl is
that it was created precisely in response to this sort of corporate
behaviour.  thus it appears to me contradictory to suggest that i
cannot interface with free software (which is based upon shared
ownership) unless i also make my software free.  this appears to be
the goal of some GPL proponents.  and i don't believe possible under
law (at least the majority of EU law).  hence my earlier assersion
that using drupal hooks in any software is not illegal or problematic,
nor is distributing that software (unless you also distribute drupal).

i re-iterate that i agree about the distribution of free software and
libraries as a reasonable incentive toward free software and as a
reasonable barrier to wholesale consumption of free software into
commercial products.  i disagree that we can prevent someone from
communicating with free software on the basis of copyright and think
this directly contradictory to the notion of freedom that we wish to
preserve and propogate.

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