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Re: PHPNuke license

[replying to two messages at once]
On Fri, 2003-02-28 at 12:20, Branden Robinson wrote:

> I'll note that the GNU GPL's 2c), for instance, does not mandate that
> the announcement of the copyright notice and warranty disclaimer be
> placed into files output or processed by the software, which is what
> PHPNuke is doing.
I think that PHPNuke actually is applying (2)(c) correctly.  The output
of PHPNuke is derived from the HTML and Javascript input.  In the case
of Javascript in separate files, it's not even derived -- it's the
original.  It's clear that PHPNuke "reads commands interactively" in the
sense of (2)(c).  

*I don't see a problem if the notice were moved to another part of the
site and HTML linked to.* 

On Fri, 2003-02-28 at 15:04, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > I agree with your assesment.
> > 
> > However, I would like to play devil's advocate for a second:
> > 
> >   A person could consider a Web application to be a program that
> >   "reads commands interactively" in the same sense that a GUI app does.
> >   In this sense, GPL 2c is binding upon us to leave that in place.
> >   This is the argument made by the FSF staffer I cited before.
> It's a stretch.  Given the GNU FDL and some rumblings about what might
> be in GNU GPL v3, it may be that the FSF is going to be in a mood to
> repudiate http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/bsd.html sometime soon.  (I
> sincerely hope I'm wrong about that.)
> I for one, still find myself in strong sympathy with the arguments put
> forward in that article, and I think it is inconsistent to apply its
> reasoning solely to the old 4-clause BSD license.

Recall that this says that the 4-clause BSD license *is* free.  I also
don't see a problem with the About Box interpretation of (2)(c), which
avoids the 4-clause BSD problem.  Recall that the problem of huge lists
of authors, copyrights, etc, is only when there's limited space, such as
in a web site footer or an advertisement.  If you open any program with
tons of 3-clause BSD licensed code (like OpenSSH), you'll find a README
with tons of copyright notices.  This is no problem at all.

> Furthermore, a broad interpretation of 2c would be inconsistent with the
> way most FSF programs actually work.  The stuff in GNU coreutils doesn't
> generally spew a copyright notice and warranty disclaimer to standard
> output or standard error when these programs are are run for their
> typical uses; otherwise normal shell sessions would be awash in legal
> notices and we'd need 100,000 lines of scrollback in our terminals just
> so we could get some work done.

(2)(c) merely states that they *could* have such a notice.  Most of the
coreutils aren't interactive.  But for emacs, I think the (2)(c) notice
is somewhere in the startup text.

> Which FSF staffer advocated this extremely broad interpretation of 2c?
> If this heresy is the new GNU orthodoxy we may have some problems.

That would be me -- and it's not orthodoxy, just my intepretation.  I've
been wrong before.  This paragraph is the only part of the message where
I'm speaking for the FSF.  I don't think the FSF has any position on any
of this, and I'm not sure we want to.

> > Another issue raised here is that we could be dealing with a little
> > different set of circumstances if you consider the act of viewing a web page
> > as distributing parts of the source code to PHPNuke, possibly modified. 
> > This is a whole quagmire and trying to figure out its implications is not a
> > quick exercise.
> Yes, I do not think it is ethical to slap your own copyright on someone
> else's work. 

Nobody is suggesting that.  Rather, the copyright notice applies to the
PHPNuke code involved.  The *license* is a different matter, and one
I'll discuss below.

> If I write a novel and put it up on the web, and my
> publishing technology happens to be PHPNuke, the copyright holders of
> PHPNuke have no claim on my original work (they'd better not, or PHPNuke
> violates DFSG 9, "License Must Not Contaminate Other Software"), and
> nothing should appear to the viewer that would imply thus.

But PHPNuke's layout and functionality are integral parts of the
output.  If you wrote a novel and happened to post it with PHPNuke, I'm
not sure what I think would be the *right* thing.  In some sense, it
would be like using a tiny little library (like GNU Readline) in a huge

-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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