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Re: [Fwd: RFS: eaccelerator - PHP script cacher]

On Thu, 2005-05-12 at 12:07 -0400, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> Quoting Florian Weimer <fw@deneb.enyo.de>:
> > * Roberto C. Sanchez:
> >
> >> I forwarding this to d-d since after a couple of days I
> >> still have no response from anyone on d-m willing to sponsor
> >> this package.
> >
> > Please have a look at the following discussions:
> >
> > <http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/11/msg00078.html>
> > <http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/01/msg00130.html>
> Thanks.  I was not aware.  Is there a problem with me providing the 
> eAccelerator
> packages?

Yes, it's a problem. This has been a long ongoing debate originally
among Turck-mmcache users (I'm the turck-mmcache maintainer) and now
among eAccelerator users / developers (I've also created eAccelerator
packages, but I haven't submitted them to the archive because the legal
situation needs to be resolved first).

In fact there are now two problems with eAccelerator. The first problem
which was carried over from Turck-mmcache was the GPL/PHP licence
linking problem, and now there is also possibly a copyright problem
because when the project was forked the new developers simply removed
all the Turcksoft copyrights and added their own.

> I am not distributing PHP at all, and I also have the eAccelerator
> source available with the binary.

Unfortunately that doesn't solve the problem because it would mean
distributing binaries that have been linked against PHP, which has a
GPL-incompatible licence.

One of the suggestions a long time ago was to replace the Turck-mmcache
package with a 'loader' package that grabbed the source tarball and
built it on the target machine, but I resisted that idea because it
would require the target machine to have all sorts of things installed
including a compiler, the C dev libs, the PHP source, and a bunch of
other things that wouldn't typically exist on a deployment server. It
would also be a rather jarring experience for the admin, with a package
install taking quite a few minutes and chewing up all the CPU time
rather than the fractions of a second required to install a binary
package. It would technically work and it would be legal, but it would
be a very ugly kludge.

> I really hope that this is worked out.

So do I. I've had a brief informal chat to Jeremy Malcolm of iLaw (who
also happens to be Linux Australia's legal counsel) about the situation
and I'll probably follow this up with him in a more formal way when I
get a chance. I'm happy to pay the $$$ to get formal legal advice on
this issue if it helps resolve things.

The primary issue to resolve is the ownership of the codebase so that it
can be re-licenced. At present the copyright of Turck-mmache resides
with Turcksoft, a Russian company that now seems to be out of business.
As a result there's no-one to re-licence the code to LGPL or similar,
which would then make binaries built against PHP legal to distribute.

Cheers   :-)

Jonathan Oxer
The Debian Universe: Installing, managing and using Debian GNU/Linux

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