Derivative Work vs Just Using the API

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kabam
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Derivative Work vs Just Using the API

Post by kabam » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:28 pm

I've read a lot of great posts about the Joomla GPL issues and I was wondering if someone could clarify this for me.

I have several custom menu modules that I have created based on the mainmenu module code.  Clearly this is a derivative work and if I wanted to distribute it it would need to be GPLed.

I also have a few custom components that I have written and have thought about releasing commercially.  These components are original code except that they call several functions from the $mainframe and $database class and also use a few global variables.  In writing my components, I have always taken the stance that my components were merely calling the published Joomla API to access the database, etc. and not creating derivative works.  Why is this not correct?

If this is incorrect, then doesn't this mean that any program that uses Joomla for more than just its database structure must be GPLed?


Any thoughts or clarifications are appreciated!
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Re: Derivative Work vs Just Using the API

Post by kabam » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:08 pm

I just learned from another post that while I have been anxiously awaiting a reply to this... no one can because the Joomla moderators have removed the reply feature from this board to prevent flame wars  :-\.  I guess I can understand that, but it would be nice for someone to post something "official" about this instead of finding out from other users who are as equally disturbed >:(.

Anyway, if anyone has any opinions on this either way that they would like to share, please PM me and I will post any that I feel are noteworthy and appropriate (self modding... a new concept???).

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Re: Derivative Work vs Just Using the API

Post by mcsmom » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:16 pm

Please know that people are reading your posts. However, it is difficult if not impossible for anyone to give a response about a specific case without a complete review of the code and perhaps some discussion with SFLC. People can give general opinions about general approaches, yes, but no one is going to say "go ahead" in any way that might later be considered legally enforceable.

Please note that people have already been severely burned by posting their opinions--with clear statements that they were opinions and not based on legal analisys-- and then having other people quote those opinions as though they were some kind of official statement.

That said, if your component will not run freestanding outside of Joomla! it is, under the legal advice we have had, a derivative work.

I'm modifying to make this more clear.

That said, if your component will run freestanding outside of Joomla! it is, under the legal advice we have had, NOT a derivative work if you link it from a url menu linke etc. You can, from my understanding, includ mos or die if you want because it is a one line fair use quote. Just my interpretation though.

modified to fix spelling.
Last edited by mcsmom on Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Derivative Work vs Just Using the API

Post by mcsmom » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:44 pm

Also, core developers and moderators can reply. So when and if someone is able to answer your question, be assured they can and will.
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: Derivative Work vs Just Using the API

Post by kabam » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:00 pm

@mcsmom - Thank you for the information and the reply! :)
Michael - Vice President / Lead Developer
KABAM.net - Making Websites Work!
Author of Bookmark Us, The Flash Mod, and more.

 

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