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

Darren Oh darrenoh at sidepotsinternational.com
Mon Sep 3 23:43:58 UTC 2007

Since the FSF does not hold the copyright for Drupal, all that  
matters is what the GPL actually says. To quote, "The FSF folks, when  
I asked about this, basically said that it was probably violating the  
spirit of the GPL but not the letter."

I still think the wrong question was answered. The GPL is a one-way  
infection: non-free software cannot GPL components, but GPL code can  
use non-free components. To quote again: "While the GPL only covers  
distribution, they consider it a GPL violation to *distribute  
software that is intended to be used in violation of the GPL*. In  
other words, distributing a proprietary commercial piece of software  
that relies on GPL libraries, and telling people, 'We can't put X  
into our program, but you can to make it work...' is creating a GPL- 
derived program just as much as rolling the GPL'd libraries in and  
then distributing."

There is a possibility that a third-party app may have a similarly  
viral license that is incompatible with the GPL. In that case, it  
would not be legal to distribute a module that makes use of the app.

On Sep 3, 2007, at 11:32 PM, Jeff Eaton wrote:

> On Sep 3, 2007, at 10:04 AM, Darren Oh wrote:
>> Based on the evidence presented in this discussion, it would not  
>> be against either the spirit or the letter of the GPL for a  
>> developer to distribute a module that integrates an existing third- 
>> party app that does not use Drupal and to which the developer does  
>> not own the rights.
> This is exactly the opposite of what the FSF said when I asked them  
> that question directly.
> --Jeff

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