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

Thomas Barregren thomas at webbredaktoren.se
Sat Sep 8 16:11:09 UTC 2007

ttw+drupal at cobbled.net skrev:
> On 07.09-00:28, Thomas Barregren wrote:
> [ ... ]
>> Assume you write a module for Drupal. Any meaningful module to Drupal 
>> implements at least one hook. That alone makes the module a derived work 
>> of Drupal.
> this is wrong.  it is an over zealous attempt to extend the legal
> coverage of copyright and licensing laws.  you may interface to
> software as you like, what you cannot do is copy and modify and
> distribute that software as your own.

No, you are wrong.

If your code link to another code and call functions and share data 
structures with that other code, your code becomes a derived work of the 
other code.

It is however true that you don't have to worry about that if the other 
code is licensed to you under an open source license and as long as you 
don't distribute your code.

But i f you distribute your code, even if it is without the other code, 
you must take the fact that your code is derived from the other code 
into consideration. If the other code is under BSD, MIT or similar 
license, it's easy: apply whichever license you like (almost). But if 
the other code is under GPL, you must use GPL yourself.

> i believe this would be defeated in court as were proprietry software
> vendors when attempting the same trick.  i would also assert it is
> also an infrigement on the freedoms of free software and a direct
> contradiction of what free software is about.

How can GPL infringe on the freedoms of free software? GPL was after all 
developed by RMS and other to protect the freedom.

> i would re-state what an earlier poster said which is, it would be
> better to put together a list of copyright holders and correct
> current licensing discrepancies.

I agree that compiling a list of contributors, similar to the Linux 
kernel, would be a very good thing to do (if feasible).

> then tackle how you wish to
> address this issue internally.  only then should you start
> propounding this sort of dictum.

I have not propound any sort  of dictum. I have only tried to shed light 
on something which great many people seems to be difficult.


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