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

Thomas Barregren thomas at webbredaktoren.se
Mon Sep 10 09:40:09 UTC 2007

mark burdett skrev:
> Here's the FAQ, by the Software Freedom Law Center, on why you can
> distribute CiviCRM (AGPL licensed, incompatible with GPL v2) as part
> of a GPL-licensed piece of software (e.g. drupal+civicrm distribution
> like civicspace was):  http://civicrm.org/node/166

The CiviCRM's FAQ about AGPL loudly and clearly states:

    You cannot combine code licensed under both licenses [AGPL and GPL]
    into a single program and then redistribute that combination because
    the AGPL and the current version of the GPL are incompatible.

Thus, you cannot distribute CiviCRM as *part of* a software licensed 
under GPL. However, you can distribute CiviCRM as "a separate and 
independent program from the GPL-licensed software".

It is important to make a distinction between "derived work" and 
"combined work".

Derivative works are subject to the GPL’s reciprocity provision (a.k.a. 
copyleft) while combined works are not. The matter is thoroughly 
discussed in Lawrence Rosen's book "Open Source Licensing: Software 
Freedom and Intellectual Property Law" available online from


Rosen says in the book that he belief that GPL "will ultimately be read 
by the courts to mean that derivative works are subject to the GPL’s 
reciprocity provision, but collective works are not."

Best regards,

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