I think you need to choose your words carefully. Any project that uses the GPL is bound by the same license.
Every project that uses the GNU GPL license, has it's own right (and responsibility) to interpret and enforce it. Joomla!
decided to change what was endorsed, wich is fine. However, Joomla! also has to take the responsibility for this, and
that includes not to claim that the responsibility lies with all the other CMPTs that do not comply with Joomla!s rules.
I used to think that, too, but lately, I am starting to see that doesn't make any sense. Here's how I see it - clearly, I am not an expert!
A group of copyright holders decide to license their work. They *could* create their own
license but they would have to enforce the license themselves. Or, they could use a license that is already available that meets their project needs.
The GPL v 2 is a specific license. No matter who uses the license, it has the exact same terms.
The Free Software Foundation
(FSF) are the ones who provide the GPL. The benefit to utilizing the GPL, as opposed to coming up with your own licensing, is that the FSF provides services to those who use the GPL, including support for compliance to the license
In order to stay effective, a license must be enforced.
The FSF holds the copyrights for many popular free software programs, such as GCC and glibc, and we enforce those licenses. We investigate all reports we receive about free software license violations, and negotiate with violators to bring them into full compliance. Learn more about our compliance work.
Note the bolded text from above: In order to stay effective, a license must be enforced.
If copyright holders do not observe the license guidelines and posts messages, or simply tolerates infractions to the GPL, I think it becomes very unclear what the license really
means. Ambiguity exists. In such a case, if the copyright holders were to go to the FSF for help with the kind of compliance
they do want, I am guessing it would become difficult for the FSF to sort through the copyright holder's "interpretation" of the GPL and enforce those terms.
And, what if those interpretations are not something the FSF agrees with? Certainly, they are not required to enforce a license they did not create! Essentially, "project-specific interpretations" create a unique and new license
. And, as such, it could certainly become the copyright holder's responsibility for enforcement. The burden of explaining in a court the "effective license" might be a challenge, I think.
In light of that, I believe SMF handled the question about whether or not extensions are derivate in a smart way - they went to the FSF - the ones who provide and enforce the GPL and they asked. The FSF indicated the method described in the email correspondence to bridge non-GPL compliant software with a GPL environment violated the terms of the GPL
. (The acceptable way to bridge was also mentioned by the FSF.) SMF uses that method that FSF indicated was a violation for each of their bridges into GPL software, including Mambo, XOOPS, E107 and Joomla!.
According to the FSF's opinion, each bridge is a violation of the GPL.
Now, Trijnie, we get into the area of being careful with wording. It is indeed true, as you say, that copyright holders may choose to seek compliance or they may choose to ignore violations of the license. But, those responses do not change the fact that it is, indeed, a violation of the GPL.
Back to the FSF's statement: "In order to stay effective, a license must be enforced." I think I am starting to see what that means.
Those who like to dismiss this recognition to religious zealotry need to remember - this is not a religion, it is a license. It is a legal matter. Understanding compliance with a license is important is not a declaration of faith. It's logic. This is not to suggest that the GPL is the best license around. I use FAR more proprietary software than free software. I do not feel unpure or wrong or bad for doing so. Joomla! uses the GPL which has terms provided by the FSF - that is a fact, not a faith.