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

Darren Oh darrenoh at sidepotsinternational.com
Tue Sep 4 13:50:29 UTC 2007

On Sep 4, 2007, at 1:26 PM, David Strauss wrote:

> You have to agree to the GPL if you (re)distribute GPLed works -- but
> not if you only download them, use them, or install them. If you
> download a GPL library and develop proprietary code that uses the
> library, you have not been forced to accept the GPL. For this  
> reason, I
> think it's ridiculous when GPLed programs ask me to "accept" the  
> GPL on
> installation.
> The GPL is quite clear about this:
>> Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are  
>> not covered by this License; they are outside its scope.
> Moreover:
>> You are not required to accept this License, since you have not  
>> signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify  
>> or distribute the Program or its derivative works.
> Now, if the GPL required that you accept it to *use* code, it might  
> be a
> different matter because you would be agreeing to the infection clause
> in the library's license. But this infection clause seems to go well
> beyond what normal copyright would consider a derivative work.
> I would love to have someone clear up any errors in my interpretation.
> While I love the FSF, they have a vested interest in presenting the  
> as viral as possible. So, I don't consider their FAQ to be a reliable,
> unbiased source.

The argument being made is that distributing a module that allows  
Drupal to use separately distributed third-party code would make the  
third-party code a modification of Drupal (and therefore illegal if  
the module author cannot also release the third-party code under the  
GPL). If that is really what the FSF is claiming, I too would  
question the reliability of their interpretation.

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