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

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Thu Sep 6 13:28:42 UTC 2007

Hash: SHA1

Vivek Puri schrieb:
> --- Cog Rusty <cog.rusty at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> You cant be more wrong ;) take a look at

I am sure that Karoly knows that there are such modules on drupal.org.

>>> http://drupal.org/project/smfforum , this is in
>>> violation of GPL as per this latest discussion.
>> And
>>> its hosted on drupal. The module make direct calls
>> do
>>> SMF API ( a non-GPL compliant ) product.
>> At last! Now we are talking. Wouldn't someone have
>> to challenge the
>> conformance or the module with a particular  article
>> of its attached
>> license to claim such a thing?
>> As a side-issue, there is also the question of
>> "legitimate interest"
>> of the one who does challenge it. Doesn't the
>> requirement of
>> legitimate interest exist in most countries? (IANAL
>> either).
> Its not so much as question of challenging it. The
> fact is that module clearly is in violation of GPL and

It violates the GPL if one accepts the interpetation of the GPL
communicated to us by Jeff.

Given that this interpretation is from the people who distribute the GPL
is makes a lot of sense to me to stick by that interpretation.

Of course, their interpretation won't be unbiased. But by chosing the
GPL as our license we are already party anyway.

> still hosted on Drupal. So question is whats Drupal's 
> policy ?


> Still continue to say that d.o. is fully
> compliant or  d.o. doesn't care ?

As the CVS maintainer I care very much. However, I don't want to act rashly.

> If we go by your logic then everyone will just use GPL
> software and release their own modules as proprietary
> license under the concept of "legitimate interest".
> After all everyone has "legitimate interest" to not
> release their own contributions as GPL ;)

I've never heard of a legal concept "legitimate interest" before...

Here's a Stallman quote which elucidates some points of this threat:

The GNU GPL is not Mr. Nice Guy. It says »no« to some of the things that
people sometimes want to do. There are users who say that this is a bad
thing ­ that the GPL »excludes« some proprietary software developers who
»need to be brought into the free software community.« But
we are not excluding them from our community; they are choosing not to
enter. Their decision to make software proprietary is a decision to stay
out of our community. Being in our community means joining in
cooperation with us; we cannot »bring them into our community« if they
don't want to join.

        Richard Stallman

I've found it in a commented version of the GPLv2 which can be
downloaded from:


It is probably interesting to people participating in this thread. You
need to learn German first, though. :p
The whole PDF has 192 pages so it becomes clear that this is not exactly
 an easygoing license. ;)

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