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

FGM fgm at osinet.fr
Sat Sep 8 09:25:54 UTC 2007

The same should be noted about other countries too: a lot of people chiming
in on this discussion seem to assume there is just one legal system and the
GPL is valid under it.

Actually, some parts of the GPL are invalid in some legal systems and the
matching provisions are automatically deemed unwritten in that case. This
for instance the case with french law and provision 11 and 12 which are void
when the user is an end-user. Accordingly, provision 7 could be interpreted
as implying that this forbids any person, physical or moral, operating in
France, to distribute GPL software he did not author. Other countries may
have similar dispositions.

This is actually one of the main points behind the creation of the CeCILL by
the french government: it was designed to be applicable both under the
french, US and some other legal systems, and also fixes a few technical
problems like the definition of applicable law, which is missing from the

Note that the FSF also worked on this problem: the equivalent provisions in
GPLv3 (15 and 16) have been extended by provision 17 which takes into
account the fact that the former writing was not applicable in some
countries. In that regard at least, the GPLv3 should be more universal than

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Thomas Barregren" <thomas at webbredaktoren.se>
To: <development at drupal.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2007 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: [development] Modules that integrate non-GPL PHP apps violate
the GPL.
> Following this discussion thread, it seems that great many developers
> are not sufficiently familiar with copyright and licensing of free and
> open source software (FOSS). A very good brief on this matter, which I
> can really recommend to everyone to read, is the 13 pages short
> publication "The Open Source Legal Landscape" by the Australian lawyer
> Brendan Scott. Follow this link to download it as PDF:
> Please, notice that the paper discusses *Australian* law. The law of
> other jurisdictions may (or may not) be different.

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