Author Topic: GPL and Integration Question  (Read 3409 times)

Offline theodoreking

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GPL and Integration Question
« on: July 19, 2006, 06:34:40 AM »
I am developing an education technology suite and we were hoping to use Roundcube as a webmail client, but if we embed it within our interface (just with a top bar sort of like what does with our main links) does that mean that we have to offer our entire solution under GPL?

I'm just a bit confused as to how GPL applies, since the Webmail system itself is stand-alone and quite distinct. Any advice would be greatly appreciated? Is there a place where I can get clarification from the core developers?

I read through the FSF license and this section:
"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. But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it."

But the "part of a whole" sentence is not clear to me. We would distribute Roundcube with our other proprietary programs, but by merely embedding the program in our interface and configuring it would that trigger GPL?


Offline kidmock

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Re: GPL and Integration Question
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 08:44:09 AM »
This really isn't the right forum for questions about GPL.

You don't have to share. You can read the FAQ here:

Offline nipun_jain

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Re: GPL and Integration Question
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2006, 01:43:16 PM »
Or you can send a mail to the developers and ask for their advice.

Offline bpat1434

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Re: GPL and Integration Question
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2006, 11:38:26 PM »
The GPL allows for you to use, modify, and branch from the source. As long as you
1.) Credit the original authors for their work
2.) Release it under the same license

So, if your source uses closed source licenses, I'd say just take roundcube, and make it plug-in like. Don't integrate it too deeply. Otherwise, you'd eventually have to release your suite as it'd be a violation of the GPL.

And of course, the end all be all of answers: Ask the developer in charge:

Offline theodoreking

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Re: GPL and Integration Question
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 09:38:48 AM »
Thanks guys for your advice. I did send an email to, but did not get a reply. I'll try sending another one. maybe they're on vacation. :)