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Clarification for GPL clauses when using MediaWiki with a commercial/proprietary product/project.

Mohnish kamble (talkcontribs)


If I have a proprietary project, that is intended to be distributed commercially, and there is a wiki that is required with it,

can I use MediaWiki  for the purpose?

The Wiki portion will be hosted separately and the communication with it from the rest of the project will happen over REST.

Could anyone please help me with understanding the

following passage of GPL-2.0:

"These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. 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."

Both products are separate with respect to functionality.

Besides, the REST API in MediaWiki, I believe, is there for such communications.

Does making a REST call to MediaWiki makes the calling project fall under the GPL's sphere?

Thanks for the product, it works great.

Thanks for your time.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

Hi, I am not a lawyer but you can use MediaWiki for private and commercial use without any problem. The GPL license refers to changes in the code of MediaWiki, not on its regular use.

Legoktm (talkcontribs)

The GPL refers to modification and redistribution of the MediaWiki source code, not any content that may be stored inside of MediaWiki.

Mohnish kamble (talkcontribs)

Could anyone help in getting an author's approval for the same? :)

Legoktm (talkcontribs)

Could you clarify who you want an approval from, and what that approval should be for?

Mohnish kamble (talkcontribs)

Since the authors of the software can choose multiple licensing policies for the same software and can clarify aspects of terms, the authors can clarify like 'Just making calls to REST API of MediaWiki doesn't force you to make the source code of the calling application available'. Is there a separate group of authors or any member who is contributing in this community can be considered as author?

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

@Mohnish kamble the point of the license of the software (GPL in this case) is that you don't need any explicit approval from the authors as long as you follow the license. As we have discussed above, your intended use of MediaWiki is compliant with its license. That's it, that's all. You don't need anything else to run MediaWiki for your project.

Mohnish kamble (talkcontribs)
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

You are using MediaWiki as is in your server, not modifying it or redistributing it. "communicating with MediaWiki by a separate program over REST/Web-service" poses no conflict with the MediaWiki license.

Mohnish kamble (talkcontribs)

Alright @Qgil-WMF. Thanks for your time.

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