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

David Metzler metzlerd at metzlerd.com
Sat Sep 8 18:36:31 UTC 2007

On Sep 8, 2007, at 9:11 AM, Thomas Barregren wrote:

> 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.

You keep insisting this, but I don't agree its that cut and dry.   
Current literature on the subject suggests otherwise when calling  
code that is "designed as a library".  Regardless as to whether it is  
statically linked or otherwise.  Creating a derivative work is not a  
technical definition, it's a legal one.  Most of the reading I've  
done outside of the GPL FAQ agrees with this.

Drupal's strength IMHO relies on its community, and defining the  
risks we're willing to take in terms of technical semantics feels  
like a step in the wrong direction.  I agree, that the SMF bridge  
case takes it too far.  Distributing non-gpl code using the drupal  
infrastructure would be a step backward for us also.  I think we  
should continue to feel free to distribute code that says it's GPL,  
no matter what, but not try and second guess lawyers on what is  
considered a derived work or not.

If the drupal foundation decides that it want's to go after people  
who might bundle and distribute drupal core with other non-gpl code,  
I'd probably be supportive of that.  I would not be supportive of the  
foundation going after contributers who develop modules to integrate  
drupal with proprietary systems and release those modules as GPL,  
whether we think they're wrong or not.

And with that, I think I'm done with this thread.....

More information about the development mailing list