[development] Modules that integrate non-GPL PHPy apps violate the GPL.
metzlerd at metzlerd.com
Sat Sep 1 02:44:44 UTC 2007
This seems like pretty safe ground to me. Of course what constitutes
a "derived work" is and will always be subject to legal
interpretation, And I do think what you "distribute" and how you
distribute it will make a big difference. But something that
communicates over an internet protocol with another service, can
hardly be considered part of the product you've distributed.
Particularly if the spec for the web service is not proprietary. The
service your consuming hasn't necessarily been distributed (and often
isn't). This is probably the crux of the static vs, .dll difference
in some peoples (lawyers or not) interpretation. Just how stand-
alone does a library need to be in order to be considered an
independent work vs. a derived work? Would a reasonable person
believe that some other individual could write a replacement
"library"? Would they be able to distribute it as a standalone product?
I'd be interested to see how an interpretive api that was written so
that anyone can register a callback and therefor inerface with the
module would measure up in this interpretation, but as Larry hints
at... that's probably best left to a real lawyer.
I once attended a talk by a copyright lawyer on the subject, and in
the states at least, most software licensing is considered contract
law, and not copyright law, so the interface gets muddy in a hurry,
particularly around commercial software. From a legal perspective
you don't own your copy of MS word in the states. You've just
purchased (read rented) the rights to use it.
The real question in all this isn't which interpretation is right or
wrong, but rather what level of risk is drupal.org willing to
accept. That interpretation ought to be somewhat conservative
IMHO. But I think web services are safe, if the spec is open.
Enough of this, I'm going to write some more code :)
On Aug 31, 2007, at 5:31 PM, Larry Garfield wrote:
> On Friday 31 August 2007, Thomas Barregren wrote:
>> So, if you want to build a module that can be used to integrate a
>> software with a license incompatible with GPL, I *believe* that a
>> solution is to build a GPLed Service Provider Interface (SPI) which
>> makes no assumption about the internals of the service providers.
> So you are claiming, then, that a Drupal wrapper module for a non-
> GPLed system
> that communicated only via REST calls (or similar) but still had no
> function of its own without that non-GPLed system, is legal?
> Just for the record, how many of the people in this thread actually
> lawyers? :-)
> Larry Garfield AIM: LOLG42
> larry at garfieldtech.com ICQ: 6817012
> "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of
> exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called
> an idea,
> which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to
> himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the
> of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."
> -- Thomas
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