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Re: PHPNuke license



On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 01:31:16PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> I feel very much the same as you.  Yet as the author of various GPL'd
> programs, I don't want people removing my name.

Remember, removing (2)(c) from the GNU GPL doesn't grant people
permission to remove your copyright notices.  It may permit people to
bury them in documentation, but that's not the same thing.

> I think it boils down to this.  When I run a KDE app, I think it's
> reasonable to ensure that the About box maintains a reference to the
> original author for modified versions.  Or the splash screen for "bc".  Or
> an interactie OfflineIMAP.

I don't think all of these are the same thing.

I don't like splash screens, but I will tolerate them as long as I'm not
forbidden from removing them.

About boxes are fine, but I am not sure it is wise to permit a Free
Software license to forbid people from removing them.  It makes perfect
sense to remove an About box if, for instance, one is converting an
application into a library.

Brief blurbs about copyright, licensing, and lack of warranty are fine
as long as they don't intrude on an output stream that I might be able
to feed into another tool for processing.  Material intended for human
consumption should not be rammed down the throats of simple tools.

> What bothers me about PHPNuke is that there is an effort to maintain a
> copyright notice in the output of the program.  That is like having
> Konqueror add a KDE copyright statement to every printout of a web page, or
> OfflineIMAP adding a copyright statement to the end of each message
> transferred.  This is what I think is wrong.

I acknowledge that the PHPNuke situation is made muddy when it is
interleaving its own content with that copyrighted by other people
(posters to message boards, etc.) but I agree with you that PHPNuke is
going too far to be reasonably considered Free.

> I for one would like to see a new edition of the GPL return us to a more
> precise way of interpreting things.

I'm not sure that's the direction the FSF is heading.

I personally favor strict interpretation of licenses, with some
cognizance of historical precedent, and a liberal interpretation of the
DFSG, such that it can be read broadly to exclude licenses.  I think
this is a far better approach for preserving users' freedom than the
converse -- and preserving users' freedom is in fact the explicit
purpose of the DFSG.

I'm not sure what the purpose of the OSD is.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    If you wish to strive for peace of
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    soul, then believe; if you wish to
branden@debian.org                 |    be a devotee of truth, then
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    inquire.     -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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