Clarification required ASAP

*IF* you want to share your opinion on the GPL issue, this is the place for you.
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Clarification required ASAP

Post by lobos » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:43 am

file: components/com_widget/widget.php

dbtype, 1);
define(W_DB_HOST, $JConfig->host, 1);
define(W_DB_USER, $JConfig->user, 1);
define(W_DB_PASS, $JConfig->password, 1);
define(W_DB_NAME, $JConfig->db, 1);
define(W_DB_PREFIX, $JConfig->dbprefix, 1);

define(W_PATH_SYS, JPATH_SITE, 1);
define(W_PATH_EXT, JPATH_COMPONENT, 1);

define(W_USER_ID, $my->id, 1);
define(W_USER_NAME, $my->name, 1);
define(W_USER_UNAME, $my->username, 1);
define(W_USER_EMAIL, $my->email, 1);
define(W_USER_TYPE, $my->usertype, 1);

//FROM THIS POINT FORWARD ONLY THE ABOVE DEFINED CONSTANTS ARE USED
//NO FURTHER LIBRARIES OR CODE FROM THE JOOMLA! CMS WILL BE ACCESSED

require_once(dirname(__FILE__).'/WebvidaOS/wos.php');
?>

The above file is GPL and used to define some constants. These constants will be used later with other files that may not be licensed compatible with the GPL license. The only connection between the "constant giver"(being Joomla! GPL code) and the "constant taker" (3PD code) are the defined constants, these defined constants can be used to bridge any system in similar manner. The constant taker codebase could have been written by someone that had never even glimpsed Joomla! code.

The only way that you could call something like this derivitive is if the "constant giver" automatically tansferred "the constant taker" IP to be licensed under the GPL. So if I happened to connect "a certain forum" to Joomla! for example, the forum IP would need to become GPL... this would effectively mean that Joomla! is irrevocably incompatible with any non-gpl system; all subsystems, extensions, etc will need to be GPL, or become GPL, or become ILLEGAL.

All this from passing some variables... so in effect are the variables GPL too? hmmmm

CODE AND LIBRARIES FROM JOOMLA! WILL NOT BE USED ONLY THESE CONSTANTS.

QUESTION: Can you give me OFFICIAL approval to use this method as a "rider" to deploy non-gpl code inside a Joomla! extension? I only need these variables, in fact in one way or another this is all I have ever needed from Joomla as I write my own API.

Thank you for your speedy response.

-Lobos
Last edited by lobos on Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by RobS » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:40 pm

Hi Lobos,

Unfortunately, we can't give you an official answer to that question.  It brings up another question: should we take an official stance on what is okay or not okay based on some specific criteria (like what you are proposing).  The reality is, we don't know the answer to that yet.  We don't know if we can define a set of criteria to answer that question and until we figure that out, we won't be able to provide an official answer to your question.  You are the first person to propose this solution in more than a casual way and I think this kind of solution is going to become more common but I don't know if it actually solves the whole problem.  I am sure it solves something but I am not confident that it is a complete solution.  This is something that we are going to need to think about and discuss. 

Thank you for being positive and focusing on solutions.
Rob Schley - Open Source Matters
Webimagery - http://www.webimagery.net/ - Professional Consulting Services
JXtended - http://www.jxtended.com/ - Free and Commercial Joomla! Extensions

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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by lobos » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:48 am

Well I am currently working on commercial development, development which has stalled due to the Quote Joomla Press release. It is important for my livelihood that clarification be supplied ASAP.

Quote from The OFFICIAL Press Release (bold added for emphasis )
What is the difference between a bridge to another package and an extension?

A bridge links Joomla! to an external application so that they can exchange data and cooperate. On the Joomla! side of the bridge, the bridge is treated just like a component, module, or plugin; it must comply with the GPL unless it is a separate work (and some bridges might indeed be separate works).

If the external application is separate enough from Joomla! that it is a separate work under copyright law, it may be licensed under whatever license the holder of its copyright sees fit.
The code I supplied in my first post is in compliance with THE OFFICIAL JOOMLA! DEFINITION of "bridge". Will you clarify that this is correct in an official way?

Pattern conforms to the following AS PER YOUR SPECIFICATIONS:

1. The bridge is a component, module, or plugin; it compllies with the GPL.
2. If the external application is COMPLETELY separate from Joomla!, it is a separate work under copyright law. In your words: "it may be licensed under whatever license the holder of its copyright sees fit".

If this is not the case, please provide the following ASAP.

1. For what reasons my pattern can not be termed as a bridge.
2. Define exactly what a bridge is.

Thank you for your guidance in this matter.

-Lobos
Last edited by lobos on Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by mcsmom » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:45 pm

It's funny how people want to be able to sell things for money, but want legal advice for free.  ;D

Honestly, only a lawyer with experience in intellectual property and software law is going to be able to give you a legal opinion. For obvious reasons those people are not posting here.

I would think that is especially important for people who make their livelihood from Joomla! to have good independent advice.

That said, I am sure people will be happy to give you their personal opinions and ideas, especially if you ask them nicely.  ;)
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by lobos » Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:31 pm

MCSmom,

I am sorry that is not good enough.

In the official Joomla Press release certain statements were made. One of which being:
What is the difference between a bridge to another package and an extension?

A bridge links Joomla! to an external application so that they can exchange data and cooperate. On the Joomla! side of the bridge, the bridge is treated just like a component, module, or plugin; it must comply with the GPL unless it is a separate work (and some bridges might indeed be separate works).

If the external application is separate enough from Joomla! that it is a separate work under copyright law, it may be licensed under whatever license the holder of its copyright sees fit.
And when I ask for some advice on this after giving an example of a simple code snippet that I feel complies with this OFFICIAL STATEMENT / REQUIREMENT. All you can say is this:
It's funny how people want to be able to sell things for money, but want legal advice for free.
I do not want legal advice, I am asking if the pattern I provided complies with the Joomla! Specification for "bridge" as defined in the Official Joomla press release. But since we are talking legal here I will just take the part from GPL that allows me to do it - I was being polite and trying to get a response from you guys without forcing it, but, hmmmm... anyway here we go :)

quote directly from GPL (bold added for emphisis):
If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works.
Back to little ole example, modified a little to work as standalone as well as per "considered independent and separate works":

dbtype, 1);
define(W_DB_HOST,  $JConfig->host, 1);
define(W_DB_USER,  $JConfig->user, 1);
define(W_DB_PASS,  $JConfig->password, 1);
define(W_DB_NAME,  $JConfig->db, 1);
define(W_DB_PREFIX,  $JConfig->dbprefix, 1);

define(W_PATH_SYS, JPATH_SITE, 1);
define(W_PATH_EXT, JPATH_COMPONENT, 1);

define(W_USER_ID,    $my->id, 1);
define(W_USER_NAME,    $my->name, 1);
define(W_USER_UNAME, $my->username, 1);
define(W_USER_EMAIL, $my->email, 1);
define(W_USER_TYPE,    $my->usertype, 1);

if(!defined('W_DB_TYPE')){

      $JConfig = new WConfig;
      $My = new WMy;

define(W_DB_TYPE,  $JConfig->dbtype, 1);
define(W_DB_HOST,  $JConfig->host, 1);
define(W_DB_USER,  $JConfig->user, 1);
define(W_DB_PASS,  $JConfig->password, 1);
define(W_DB_NAME,  $JConfig->db, 1);
define(W_DB_PREFIX,  $JConfig->dbprefix, 1);

define(W_PATH_SYS, WPATH_SITE, 1);
define(W_PATH_EXT, WPATH_COMPONENT, 1);

define(W_USER_ID,    $my->id, 1);
define(W_USER_NAME,    $my->name, 1);
define(W_USER_UNAME, $my->username, 1);
define(W_USER_EMAIL, $my->email, 1);
define(W_USER_TYPE,    $my->usertype, 1);

}

//FROM THIS POINT FORWARD ONLY THE ABOVE DEFINED CONSTANTS ARE USED
//NO FURTHER LIBRARIES OR CODE FROM THE JOOMLA! CMS WILL BE ACCESSED

require_once(dirname(__FILE__).'/WebvidaOS/wos.php');
?>

As anyone can see from the above, the code can now be run completely standalone, this is the main intention, but as a favor to users that wish to use my software with Joomla! I have allowed integration via this GPL file - if it is found that the Joomla! is not being used THE SOFTWARE WILL RUN ANYWAY as per:

GPL License
considered independent
And since I only distribute MY STANDALONE WIDGET APPLICATION and the code that I write we can easily find compliance with this part of the GPL License:
distribute them as separate works
And thus LICENSE AS I SEE FIT

Conclusion.

I have provided a real world example and backed it up WITH THE GPL. Now I ask if you do not agree to please supply the relevent section of the GPL license that refutes my above statements.

In the official Joomla Press release certain statements were made. One of which being:
If the external application is separate enough from Joomla! that it is a separate work under copyright law, it may be licensed under whatever license the holder of its copyright sees fit.
Thank you.

-Lobos
Last edited by lobos on Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by lobos » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:45 pm

mcsmom wrote: but want legal advice for free.  ;D
;)

Actually I just got some for free :)

Lawrence Rosen is an attorney in private practice, with offices in Los Altos Hills and Ukiah, California
(http://www.rosenlaw.com). He is also corporate secretary and general counsel for Open Source Initiative, which manages and
promotes the Open Source Definition (http://www.opensource.org).
The primary indication of whether a new program is a derivative work is
whether the source code of the original program was used, modified, translated
or otherwise changed in any way to create the new program. If not, then I
would argue that there is not a derivative work.

· The meaning of derivative work will not be broadened to include software
created by linking to library programs that were designed and intended to be
used as library programs
. When a company releases a scientific subroutine
library, or a library of objects, for example, people who merely use the library,
unmodified, perhaps without even looking at the source code, are not thereby
creating derivative works of the library.

· Derivative works are not going to encompass plug-ins and device drivers that
are designed to be linked from other off-the-shelf, unmodified, programs. If
Linux is designed to accept separately-designed plug-in programs, you don’t
create a derivative work by merely running such a program under Linux, even if
you have to look at the Linux source code to learn how to do so.

· In most cases we shouldn’t care how the linkage between separate programs
was technically done
, unless that fact helps to determine whether the creators of
the programs designed them with some apparent common understanding of
what a derivative work would look like. We should consider subtle marketbased
factors as indicators of intent, such as whether the resulting program is
being sold as an “improved” or “enhanced” version of the original , or whether the
original was designed and advertised to be improvable “like a library.”
And this sums up my argument so eloquently
The real reason you should care about this issue is that we want to encourage as much
free and open source software to be created without scaring proprietary software users away.
If people believe that merely touching your open source software will infect their software with
a virus, you will make your software less attractive. We need to make sure that companies
know, with some degree of certainty, when they’ve created a derivative work and when they
haven’t.
-Lobos
Last edited by lobos on Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by mcsmom » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:52 pm

Good for you! Thanks for getting legal advice rather than relying on a forum.

I'm assuming that you spoke to his office personally rather than just posting quotations.
Last edited by mcsmom on Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by lobos » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:51 pm

mcsmom wrote: Good for you! Thanks for getting legal advice rather than relying on a forum.

I'm assuming that you spoke to his office personally rather than just posting quotations.
Look I appreciate your administrative input, but I would also like to ask if Joomla! Developers have access to post. Maybe they could take a look at my argument and express their views as well from a developers standpoint. I would be curious to know how they feel about this as well.

-Lobos
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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by mcsmom » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:04 pm

Rob posted above.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
http://officialjoomlabook.com Get it at http://www.joomla.org/joomla-press-official-books.html Buy a book, support Joomla!.

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Re: Clarification required ASAP

Post by lobos » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:30 pm

mcsmom,

I thank you for your time, but it seems we are not getting anywhere here. You have yourself stated that I am better off seeking advice elsewhere on how to license my IP when integrating with Joomla! I must also say that I like my debate free, as in free beer.

To those who have taken the time to digest the information I have provided, thank you (whatever your  view may be). I will be continuing my argument at the The Joomla Commercial Developer's Alliance Forums (no free beer, but there is free speech).

http://jcd-a.org/component/option,com_s ... 6/#msg2356

-Lobos
Last edited by lobos on Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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