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Re: PHPNuke license

On Fri, Feb 28, 2003 at 03:04:10PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:

> 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.

I also think the PHP-Nuke interpretation is broader than what the GPL
itself permits.  2c says:

    c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
    when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
    interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
    announcement [...]

If a web-based CMS constitutes "interactive use" in any fashion, I would
argue that this could only be so inasmuch as we consider clicking on links
within the website to be part of a single interactive session, because
otherwise you have a number of one-shot calls that are not interactive at
all.  Furthermore, "the most ordinary way" for beginning an interactive
session is by starting at the index page and drilling down.  So as I see
it, the worst case is that the GPL could require you to display the
copyright/warranty announcement on the entry page of the web app, but
nothing more.

The PHP-Nuke author has demanded more than this, however; that's his
prerogative, but I think this puts PHP-Nuke into the same category as
pine where the copyright holder's exceptional interpretation has rendered
an otherwise free license non-free.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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