GPL - possible violation - what should I do?

MJ Ray markj at
Tue Mar 19 13:18:34 UTC 2002

=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Claus_F=E4rber?= <list-fsf-eu-discussion at> wrote:
> Even an include() statement does not make the plug-in in the form
> it is _distributed_ in a dereived work.

Hrm.  The program cannot function independently and modifies the original at
run-time.  Sounds derived to me, but is it?

Of course, if it is based on a GPL'd sample, all this is moot.

> It is probably not a very good idea to test this aspect of the GPL
> in court.

It is never a good idea to go to court, but sometimes one has to.

An alternative strategy in this case is to implement something similar to
the "licence taint" that is now in Linux module loading and inform your
customers in many-feet-high lettering that they just abandoned all hope of
support.  With PHP, maybe you could do this by reporting an md5sum of
installed modules in any crash output?  Just thinking aloud, really.

> Claus (No I'm not yet a lawyer but a law student specialising in
>        IP law)

Got any colleagues in the UK?  ;-)

MJR ,----------------------------------------------------
    | Q. Do you need a net-based application developing, 
    |    or advice and training about web technology?
    | A. I suggest you try

More information about the Discussion mailing list