[Zope] Zope and the GPL poison pill

jpenny@universal-fasteners.com jpenny@universal-fasteners.com
Wed, 13 Sep 2000 18:08:09 -0400

On Wed, Sep 13, 2000 at 11:29:23PM +0200, Nils Kassube wrote:
> I'm only pointing out what I think is a problem with using a
> GPL'ed component in a Zope site. 
> My Zope-specific problem is: If I use a GPL'ed component in a complex
> object oriented environment like Zope, does this mean that the whole
> work is now subject to the GPL? 
> work = Zope-based web site/web application

No, GPL does not affect non-program parts of the work.  Nor does it
affect work that "uses" GPL code, i.e. that makes function calls or
that makes method calls.

> use = e.g. subclassing it or method calls, etc.

Yes, it would feel to me that subclassing is a derived program. You
are taking a preexisting program and modifying it; your work cannot
stand on its own.  In spirit, this appears to be not very different 
from patching a program (except that the patch is done on-the-fly,
rather than statically). 

And no, using a GPL program does not magically create a derived program.
For example, using gcc as a compiler does not require that any code
thus compiled be GPL.  Similarly, using a method does not require that 
every object/method which calls/invokes to be GPL.

I think you are getting hung up on 
"The "Program", below,
refers to any such program or work, and a "work based on the Program"
means either the Program or any derivative work under copyright law:
that is to say, a work containing the Program or a portion of it"

Notice that it talks about the _work_ containing the Program, not
the _system_ containing the program.  The system may contain
GPL and non-GPL code.  Again, installing gcc on a computer
does not automatically force every other piece of software on the
computer to be GPL (containment on a hard disk is not what this is
about!).  A single tar file may contain both GPL and non-GPL
components (containment in a bundle is not what this clause is
about!).  Simile, containment in Zope is not what this clause is

As long as what you write does not modify the GPL'ed program, 
either by removing, adding, or altering the GPL program itself,
the license does not put any restrictions on you.

Jim Penny