GPL - possible violation - what should I do?

Jan Wildeboer jan.wildeboer at
Mon Mar 18 08:59:17 UTC 2002

Hello all,

please let me introduce myself first. My name is Jan Wildeboer, I am member
of the core team of a GPL'ed shopping cart solution, written in PHP, called
osCommerce (

We just celebrated the second birthday of our project, we have the feeling
we are quite successfull and we managed to build a community that supports
our project.

Because we try to produce a global solution, we introduced a
modules-structure for shipping and payment routines. We provide sample code
and some global modules. Shipping and payment sometimes is very
country-specific, so there are some country-specify mailing-lists/support
sites that offer modules for these specific countries.

The way we understand the GNU General Public License all modules programmed
to be used in our system must be published under the terms of the GPL. Our
opinion is mainly based on this GPL-FAQ entry:

This is due to the fact that shipping/payment modules use objects generated
by our project (the cart object, customer address etc.). So we are quite
sure that the second part of this FAQ-entry is valid in this context, so all
modules written for our project MUST be published under the terms of the GPL
or a GPL-compatible license.

Now we have one company that doesn't want to do this. They are selling
modules under a closed-source license and they don't seem to be willing to
accept our arguments.

I will provide more details if a serious discussion can be possible on this
mailing list. From what I've seen in the last few days (The HURD vs.
Schilling) I must wait for reactions :-)

Jan Wildeboer

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