The Joomla! Forum ™



Forum rules


Forum Rules
READ ME <-- please read before posting, this means YOU.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:20 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
Hello there,

I am seeking clarification on Extensions listed in the JED, mainly about CSS.

Recently I was threatened with lawsuit type action over including certain CSS and Javascript from an existing extension that is listed on the JED in my extension. I was also accused of violating the GPL.

The CSS in question originally includes the header licensing info (which I have retained in my distribution):

/**
* @package xxx
* @copyright Copyright (C) 2010 xxx. All rights reserved.
* @license GNU/GPL, see LICENSE.php
*
* xxx is free software. This version may have been modified pursuant
* to the GNU General Public License, and as distributed it includes or
* is derivative of works licensed under the GNU General Public License or
* other free or open source software licenses.
* See COPYRIGHT.php for copyright notices and details.
*/

So I need to ask, how can I be in violation of the GPL by including CSS (which is licensed as GPL) and HTML distributed with a GPL extension listed on the JED. It's almost like asking the question when can something be GPL and Not GPL at the same time? Or more importantly is the JED now open to listing Dual licensed GPL/Proprietary distributions like Themeforest does? Essentially this.

I was informed by a person that CSS and JAVASCRIPT is not covered by the GPL, that people can distribute packages containing non GPL Javascript and CSS alongside GPL PHP derived from Joomla (any HTML would be considered GPL as it is embedded in PHP would it not?). That these people can then restrict my rights to distribute the GPL package due to it containing proprietary CSS and Javascript.

I would really like to know if this is possible, ie it is possible for me to post a listing on the JED stating that only the PHP code is GPL but that all CSS, Javascript and HTML included in the package is not GPL and can only be redistributed with my express permission, thus rendering the package unfit for redistribution as most extensions would be functionality useless without their layout and supporting CSS/Javascript.

Thank you for your advice on this matter.

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:39 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
Just for your information, there is currently one of the more popular components on the JED using this split licence right now. So I take it we are allowed to have duel licensed GPL extensions whereby the CSS, Javascript and Images can have a proprietary license and only the PHP is covered by the GPL.

If this is indeed allowed, can you please post a notice on listings in the JED to separate out proprietary split licensed products from full GPL Extensions.

It should be noted that the JED editors are quick to separate so called "integrations" out of main categories, so it would seem in the interest of consistency to maybe have another category alongside, ie "Duel Licensed Proprietary Blogs" or something of the like...

I for one only want to use fully GPL extensions on my sites without the danger of being sued if I want to use the extension on another site or modify the extension and release enhancements etc. I would like JED listings clearing marked if they are distributing proprietary items in the extension Zip that reduce my rights under the GPL.

This is in my opinion a winding road we are on here and this issue must be fully addressed to protect users of the JED from Legal issues arising from the fact that there is not warning when a product is "GPL and Not GPL at the same time".

I would really appreciate some feedback on this - it is not just effecting me, it is of relevance to everyone that uses the JED.

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:14 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Explorer
Joomla! Explorer

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:11 am
Posts: 300
Location: Seattle WA
This is not new and has been like that since the switch to GPL. See http://docs.joomla.org/JED_Entries_License_Checklist

The GPL does not include those types of files which render on the client side.

_________________
JED Team Manager
This is an object-oriented system. If we change anything, the users object.
Unsolicited forum PM's get binned. Please use the forum or Help Desk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:55 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
Ok thanks for the clarification.

Quote:
The GPL does not include those types of files which render on the client side.


This is all well and good, but in a way we are not looking at what the GPL does or doesn't include - also I believe the above statement to be false or at least misleading (not saying intentionally of course!) because Javascript and CSS can in fact be released with a GPL license, they are distributable "works" after all.

What we are really looking at is of whether an extension can be published to the JED that limits my rights (as outlined in the GPL) in anyway to modify and or redistribute the extension once distributed to me. The answer to this question, as per the following, seems to be no.

Let us look at some items under list C2.1 of the JED Entries License Checklist:

3. Limit use per domain/installation? Publishable on the JED: NO
4. Limit code modifications? Publishable on the JED: NO
5. Limit distribution of extension? Publishable on the JED: NO

And most importantly:
7. Limit usage of non GPL media files to a domain/installation? Publishable on the JED: NO

I feel strongly that these above rules were created to protect users from the exact situation that I encountered. These rules are there to protect me and anyone else from having the right to redistribute a Joomla Extension from the JED taken away or in anyway suppressed.

Most importantly any Extension including a split license whereby proprietary licensing measures restrict my rights to modify or redistribute the extension is in violation of multiple items in C2.1 of the JED Entries License Checklist.

In light of the above I will ask the following question:

Is it possible for me to post a listing on the JED stating that only the PHP code is GPL but that all CSS, Javascript and images included in the package are not GPL and can only be redistributed with my express permission, can I include a license like the following for my extensions (as one such company with extensions listed on the JED is now doing)?

Quote:
The "My Company" Proprietary Use License covers any images, cascading stylesheets, manuals and JavaScript files in any extensions produced and/or distributed by "My Company". These files are proprietary of "My Company" ("My Company"), copyrighted and cannot be redistributed in any form without prior permission from "My Company" ("My Company")


Thank you for your time.

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:45 am 
User avatar
Joomla! Explorer
Joomla! Explorer

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:11 am
Posts: 300
Location: Seattle WA
After the community chosen the model we use the OSM legal powers that be refined it to what we have today. http://opensourcematters.org/index.php? ... tent&id=55

A split license, listed on the JED, does not limit your ability to modify an extension to suit your needs. It just limits your ability to take the images, css and js and and re-distribute them.

The rules you list are designed to protect users to allow them the ability to use extensions on unlimited domains and make modifications for their needs but it also protects stuff considered non-code from being re-distributed.


Quote:
Is it possible for me to post a listing on the JED stating that only the PHP code is GPL but that all CSS, Javascript and images included in the package are not GPL and can only be redistributed with my express permission, can I include a license like the following for my extensions (as one such company with extensions listed on the JED is now doing)?

Yes.

_________________
JED Team Manager
This is an object-oriented system. If we change anything, the users object.
Unsolicited forum PM's get binned. Please use the forum or Help Desk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:38 am 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
Ok, cool thanks for the clarification :)

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:32 am 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
But just a second...

Quote:
A split license, listed on the JED, does not limit your ability to modify an extension to suit your needs. It just limits your ability to take the images, css and js and and re-distribute them.


5. Limit distribution of extension? Publishable on the JED: NO - http://docs.joomla.org/JED_Entries_License_Checklist

Is having a split license not limiting the distribution of an extension? You know if I say that images, css and javascript contained in the extension are proprietary and it is prohibited to distribute the extension with it's css, images and javascript without first obtaining permission from me (the extension developer) this seems to be limiting the distribution of the extension does it not?

The rule does not state "limit distribution of php source code" it says "Limit distribution of extension" and the extension is the full contents of the distribution is it not? Or are we now saying that the extension only defines the php code and not the full distribution?

To be honest I don't really care much which way it goes anymore, but I am interested to know how exactly a split licensed Extension can be listed on the JED when your own rules seem to specifically prohibit it.

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Last edited by WP4J on Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:17 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Ace
Joomla! Ace

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:29 am
Posts: 1410
Location: Porto - Portugal
WP4J wrote:
I for one only want to use fully GPL extensions on my sites without the danger of being sued if I want to use the extension on another site or modify the extension and release enhancements etc.


I don't see an issue here: when making a fork you need to focus on each file copyright, not only the main pack copyright info.
JED is not a legal court, is a directory and has rules on what can be listed here and what can't be published here.
And any rule can have exceptions, you just need that those exceptions are stated in open.

As fork rules there is also a Joomladocs about that!

_________________
Tutorials: Online translation for Joomla core and extensions: https://sites.google.com/site/transjoomla
- Portuguese Joomla Community / Joomla pt-PT Translation Team


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:41 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
Sure, sure,

But really so now you are saying that "And any rule can have exceptions", yet all you have to do is read these forums to see how you all follow the rules to the letter. Why the difference now? Why not bend the rules a little for other things as well? Will you make exception to some rules for me as well? Like for example can you put my component in the blogs category instead of the Blog Integrations Category, can you put my reviews back that were removed when my component went commercial? - gosh no! Right?

5. Limit distribution of extension? Publishable on the JED: NO

So this rule can now be ignored?

I am sorry this answer is not really good enough, we are not just talking about making a little "exception" to a rule, we are talking about allowing split licensed proprietary extensions be listed on the JED.

Imagine if all open source projects did the same, oh it is ok to use the PHP, but the css, javascript and images are under another license and you may not redistribute them, it effectively closes down distribution, as not many open source projects work without their design and javascript elements. It might as well not be Opensource, it might as well not be GPL.

This is all a very strange path being taken by an organization that has the motto "Open Source Matters". But in the end... whatever, I am sure you will come up with some "creative" answers as to why you can do what you are doing.

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:17 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Explorer
Joomla! Explorer

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:11 am
Posts: 300
Location: Seattle WA
Most open source projects do the same.

http://wordpress.org/news/2009/07/themes-are-gpl-too/

Right from the foremost experts on the GPL:
"PHP files are subject to the requirements of the GPL while the images and CSS are not."

SFLC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_F ... Law_Center

I'm pretty sure Drupal does the same.

_________________
JED Team Manager
This is an object-oriented system. If we change anything, the users object.
Unsolicited forum PM's get binned. Please use the forum or Help Desk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:39 pm 
User avatar
Joomla! Ace
Joomla! Ace

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:29 am
Posts: 1410
Location: Porto - Portugal
WP4J wrote:
But really so now you are saying that "And any rule can have exceptions", yet all you have to do is read these forums to see how you all follow the rules to the letter. Why the difference now?

Now? As in... since years ago?!

WP4J wrote:
Why not bend the rules a little for other things as well? Will you make exception to some rules for me as well?

You can keep on mixing issues. We don't have rules for you or for others. :)

_________________
Tutorials: Online translation for Joomla core and extensions: https://sites.google.com/site/transjoomla
- Portuguese Joomla Community / Joomla pt-PT Translation Team


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:18 am 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
I don't think it is me mixing the issues ;)

Let me ask again.

5. Limit distribution of extension? Publishable on the JED: NO

So this rule can now be ignored?

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:49 am 
User avatar
Joomla! Explorer
Joomla! Explorer

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:11 am
Posts: 300
Location: Seattle WA
The wording was fixed to avoid the confusion.

_________________
JED Team Manager
This is an object-oriented system. If we change anything, the users object.
Unsolicited forum PM's get binned. Please use the forum or Help Desk.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: GPL Clarification
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:58 am 
User avatar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:20 am
Posts: 156
Edit: I have no further questions about this. Thanks for the clarification.

_________________
Billy Dale - Lead Developer for WP4J.com
http://WP4J.com - WordPress completely integrated with Joomla!
http://WP4J.com/demo - Demo the best multiuser blogging component for Joomla!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group