[development] The OSI Artist License compatibility with GPL

Jeff Beeman doogieb at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 22:49:03 UTC 2007

Yeah, good point... I was wondering this myself as I was reading through the
gigantic GPL/non-GPL apps thread today.  I had already sent an email to the
authors to see if they would be interested in dual licensing the source
seeing as, like you said, the intent of the license is very similar.

The module is most definitely just a wrapper around the library, making it
easier for any Drupal module to utilize the IXR library but doing nothing

Thanks for the input,

On 9/10/07, Thomas Barregren <thomas at webbredaktoren.se> wrote:
> Jeff Beeman skrev:
> > I guess I should clear things up by actually stating what I'd like to
> > include.  I wrote a module that is a simple wrapper for the Incutio
> > XML-RPC Library (http://scripts.incutio.com/xmlrpc/
> > <http://scripts.incutio.com/xmlrpc/>), which is code.  It's odd to me
> > that it's licensed under the Artistic License, and in lieu of not
> > hearing back from the author(s), I've decided to release it in the
> > style of TinyMCE, telling users to go grab the library themselves.
> What you are wondering can be formulated as two questions.
> The first question is whether it is allowed to check non-GPL libraries
> into Drupal's CVS. As Greg Knaddison pointed out, the policy of
> Drupal.org is to discourage third party libraries in general, and
> non-GPL libraies in particular. See
>     http://drupal.org/node/66113
> Therefore, I think you are doing the right thing by telling people to go
> grab the library themselves.
> The second question is whether it is allowed for a Drupal module to link
> to a library under The Artistic License. Because Drupal has GPL, your
> module has to be available for use under the GPL as well. See
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#GPLModuleLicense
> Does that prevent your module to use a library under The Artistic
> License? If your module is a derived work of the library, you have
> problem. According to FSF/GNU, the Artistic License is not compatible
> with GPL according to FSF/GNU. See
>     http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/index_html#ArtisticLicense
> But if your module is not a derived work of the library, you are all
> clear. So the second question boils down to whether your module is
> derived work of the Incutio XML-RPC Library or not.
> Since the Incutio XML-RPC Library obviously is *designed* and *intended*
> to be used as a library, I would have said that your module is not a
> derivate work of the library *IF* - and that is the catch - if your
> module did something else than just being a "simple wrapper". But as a
> simple wrapper around the Incutio XML-RPC Library, your module must most
> likely be characterized as a derived work of the library. And as a
> consequence, it cannot be legally distributed. Sorry. :-(
> The best you can do is to write to the copyright holder of the Incutio
> XML-RPC Library and ask if the library can be dual licensed under GPL to
> you. The Artistic License and GPL are very similar in intent, so that
> should not be a big issue. In fact, that is exactly how it is done for
> Perl, for which the Artistic License once were written.
> Finally, there is of course a chance that my interpretation of the
> situation is completely wrong. I am after all not a lawyer, but only a
> layman. So everything I have said should be taken with a grain of salt.
> Best regards,
> Thomas
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