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Re: PHPNuke license

On Fri, 2003-02-28 at 17:16, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit David Turner <novalis@novalis.org>
> > 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).
> However, if we accept the theory that the reader of the website is also
> a user of the program (which does have something going for it), GPL
> 2(c) says that the notice must be displayed "when started running for
> such interactive use in the most ordinary way". That would be on the
> front page of the website (http://www.example.org/), but not
> necessarily on each of the generated pages one sees *after* having
> started browsing the site.

I guess that's true, although if you bookmark a page, and come back to
it, that might be a new start.  

> > *I don't see a problem if the notice were moved to another part of the
> > site and HTML linked to.* 
> If it's GPL 2(c) we're talking about, hiding the notice away in an
> about box would not fulfil the clause.

I'm suggesting as a footer:

FooWebProg is Copyright 2003, <a href="/2c.html">Freddy Bloggs and
others</a>. There's no warranty.  You can redistribute the program under
the terms of <a href="/gpl.html">the GNU GPL version 2</a>.

And 2c.html could have as much verbiage as needed.  I think this would
fit (2)(c).

> > (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.
> If emacs is started with few enough arguments AND one doesn't have
> (setq inhibit-startup-message t) or something equivalent in .emacs,
> it will display the 2(c) notice in the editor window until the first
> keypress is received.

Sure -- that's not the most ordinary way.

> Hmm, I wonder whether the GPL is supposed to allow a system
> administrator to set the inhinit-startup-message variable from
> his site startup file. That would to some extent be analogous to
> configuring PHPNuke to not display the footer messages.

Hm, this is an interesting question.  One question might be whether that
site startup file was part of emacs.  

> > > Which FSF staffer advocated this extremely broad interpretation of 2c?
> > 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.
> Hm, you probably ought to be aware that the PHPNuke people seem to
> have interpreted it as an authoritative statement from the FSF:
> <http://phpnuke.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4947>

I wish I had been more clear that IANAL and TINLA.

-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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