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

Earnie Boyd earnie at users.sourceforge.net
Thu Sep 6 11:54:21 UTC 2007

Quoting Bryan Ruby <bryan at cmsreport.com>:

> The issue though comes down to whether Drupal.org has a vested 
> interest in protecting its license and ultimately the community's own 
> software.  In many countries, the history of how an organization 
> protects its copyright, trademarks, licenses, and other intellectual 
> property is significant in determining who has ultimate ownership.  
> If Drupal.org allows itself to distribute modules that are known to 
> contain code that is not compatible (subject to debate I know) with 
> the GPL license then in practice Drupal.org is not enforcing it's own 
> license.  Down the road a company could redistribute modified version 
> of Drupal claiming and claim they are under no obligation to "give 
> back" to the community due to Drupal.org's own historical lack of 
> enforcing the GPL.  At least that's how I interpret in a non-lawyer 
> way the main concern if Drupal.org continues the way it goes it how 
> it handles contributed modules.

I suggest a disclaimer statement on the drupal.org/project/Modules and 
drupal.org/project/Themes pages that state that the modules and themes 
are a Drupal community contribution that are not maintained by 
Drupal.org but are permitted to be distributed by Drupal.org.  Each 
module and theme must be licensed with GPL and it is the module 
maintainer's responsibility to ensure that any third party application, 
library, module, etc is compliant with the GPL.  Drupal.org itself 
discourages the distribution of third party libraries that are not GPL 
compliant via its distribution methods but there is no method in place 
to enforce it beyond email complaint from the third party library 
owners or by the Drupal community.

Such a statement clearly separates core from the contributions but also 
separates the individual modules to its maintainers.  Then we can end 
this debate of how contributed modules affect the whole even though 
"These contributed modules are not part of any official release and may 
not be optimized or work correctly." tries to do that now.

Earnie -- http://for-my-kids.com/
-- http://give-me-an-offer.com/

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