GPL/ Linking application against REST API requires to open the source

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GPL/ Linking application against REST API requires to open the source

Volz Raphael
Hi -

I am a bit unsure about whether it is OK to have an external  
application calling the MediaWiki API and being able to maintain that  
this application is proprietary.

Does usage of the API trigger the virality of GPL ?

We can work around by talking directly to MySQL instead, but using the  
REST API would be much more elegant and change resistant.

Thanks for your insights.

Thanks

Raphael


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Re: GPL/ Linking application against REST API requires to open the source

Ran Ari-Gur-2
I am not a lawyer, but just *using* the API (as a client) doesn't
require any GPL'd code. You'd have problems if:

- You're *incorporating* the API (as a server) into your proprietary
application.
- You're using GPL'd client code. (Instead, you'll have to either
write your own client code, or find existing client code that isn't
GPL'd. If you have client code that you want to use, but it's GPL'd,
it may have a single copyright holder, in which case you can contact
him/her and see if (s)he's willing to cross-license his/her code to
you, perhaps for a fee.)

-Ran Ari-Gur


On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 12:36 PM, Volz Raphael wrote:

> Hi -
>
> I am a bit unsure about whether it is OK to have an external
> application calling the MediaWiki API and being able to maintain that
> this application is proprietary.
>
> Does usage of the API trigger the virality of GPL ?
>
> We can work around by talking directly to MySQL instead, but using the
> REST API would be much more elegant and change resistant.
>
> Thanks for your insights.
>
> Thanks
>
> Raphael
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Mediawiki-api mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/mediawiki-api
>

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Re: GPL/ Linking application against REST API requires to open the source

Roan Kattouw
Ran Ari-Gur schreef:

> I am not a lawyer, but just *using* the API (as a client) doesn't
> require any GPL'd code. You'd have problems if:
>
> - You're *incorporating* the API (as a server) into your proprietary
> application.
> - You're using GPL'd client code. (Instead, you'll have to either
> write your own client code, or find existing client code that isn't
> GPL'd. If you have client code that you want to use, but it's GPL'd,
> it may have a single copyright holder, in which case you can contact
> him/her and see if (s)he's willing to cross-license his/her code to
> you, perhaps for a fee.)
I'm not a lawyer either, but I agree with the above. The way I see it,
there's no real difference between a proprietary program getting a list
through the API or someone using a proprietary browser to view the same
list in a browser on a Special: page. Since the second is obviously
allowed, the first should be too.

Roan Kattouw (Catrope)

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Re: GPL/ Linking application against REST API requires to open the source

Platonides
In reply to this post by Volz Raphael
Volz Raphael wrote:

> Hi -
>
> I am a bit unsure about whether it is OK to have an external  
> application calling the MediaWiki API and being able to maintain that  
> this application is proprietary.
>
> Does usage of the API trigger the virality of GPL ?
>
> We can work around by talking directly to MySQL instead, but using the  
> REST API would be much more elegant and change resistant.
>
> Thanks for your insights.
>
> Thanks
>
> Raphael

I concur with the above. Using the API doesn't trigger the GPL virality.
  You're doing inter-process communication via sockets over a well-known
format as XML or JSON. See
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation

However, that may not be the case if you're using FauxRequest to call
the API within the same PHP instance which loads Mediawiki.

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Re: GPL/ Linking application against REST API requires to open the source

Volz Raphael
In reply to this post by Volz Raphael
Platonides, Ran, Roan,

thanks for your feedback. We have built our own client code,  
communicate via sockets, and live on a completely different server in  
Java,  so I assume that I can safely use the API.

Thanks again for your insight.

Raphael

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