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Re: PHPNuke license

On Tue, 2003-03-04 at 15:54, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > Interestingly, I don't think (2)(c) would forbid a modified PHPNuke to
> > print the copyright notice to a printer (or console) in the server room,
> > instead of on the web page the user sees.  The more I look at the
> > clause, the more convinced I am that its sole purpose is to torture me.
> See, this is exactly my problem: who is it notifying?
> If it prints the notice to a printer, it's notifying the site administrator.[1]
> If it prints to HTML, it's notifying the users of the website.
> The former is reasonable to me, at least as far as the GPL goes.  (However,
> PHPNuke and Apache are clearly (I hope) not being started interactively wrt
> the site admin, so these notices shouldn't be mandatory.)
> The latter is the case I dislike.  I think of website users using the
> website (and only very distantly and nebulously are they in any way
> users of PHPNuke), and the administrator as the user of PHPNuke.

This, I simply don't think I can agree with.  Perhaps a clearer example
would be irc.worldforge.org.  It lives on a computer owned and operated
by Bob.  But Bob basically never logs on to IRC.   I asked, and the two
people currently active said that they were currently "using" the
server, while Bob wasn't (since he wasn't connected then).

> > > (Incidentally, I've always thought of programs like "gdb" as being
> > > interactive, and programs like "df" and "cat"--including ones that
> > > happen to read data from stdin--as being uninteractive.  I don't mind
> > > debating these interpretations of "interactive" here, but it's tangental
> > > to the PHPNuke discussion.)
> > 
> > Do you say that it's tangential because you think PHPNuke is clearly
> > interactive?  Or because, interactive or not, Debian should consider its
> > interpretation of (2)(c) non-free (whether or not it's correct from a
> > legal perspective)?
> I mean that the idea is that PHPNuke (run by Apache) and "sort" (in the
> middle of a shell pipeline) are equally interactive.  Neither talks
> directly to the user; they go through other programs. 

But PHPNuke has the back-and-forth-ness which FOLDOC and dictionary.com
think are key to interactivity, while sort doesn't.

> > I actually am inclined (after looking at the Foldoc definition pasted in
> > another message in this thread), to agree on df and cat.  It's the
> > back-and-forth which defines interactivity.  Interestingly, this
> > provides a "out" for Apache other than the two I listed above, since
> > HTTP is technically stateless...
> Oops.  Once we start using the word "technically", we're getting outside
> the realm that licenses should care about ...

Licenses frequently care about technical matters.  The LGPL, for
instance, distringuishes between dynamic and static linking (although it
uses other words for them).  But really, the stateless comment was
intended mostly as humor.

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF

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