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Re: PHPNuke license

On Wed, 5 Mar 2003, Steve Langasek wrote:

> Let's see if we can build consensus around a few points.
> Does anyone here hold the position that requiring the copyright notice on
> the front page would not be DFSG-free, if that's a valid interpretation
> of the GPL?

I believe this is not free unless it can be removed when the page is
changed by the site administrator enough not to be considered a derivative
work of the PHP-Nuke copyrighted default homepage.

This fails DFSG9 - it's contaminating my wholly-original homepage.

This is a blurry line, though it's one that may come up in other software 
which has output that can be considered derivative of the software rather 
than derivative of the input.

> Does anyone believe the GPL unambiguously *dis*allows that
> interpretation?

I do.  2c applies to running of the program, which is done on behalf of
the administrator by the webserver which hosts PHPNuke, not the computer
making an HTTP request.  Nothing is truly unambiguous, but this doesn't
seem close to me.

> Does anyone believe that this interpretation is sufficiently wrong-headed
> that it should not be considered valid, in spite of statements from the
> copyright holder or a court ruling?

It's clearly the author's wishes, so I'd personally rule that this isn't
actually GPL software - it's GPL with an incompatible rider.  We generally
honor author's stated wishes even when the license doesn't encode it
fully, and in this case that means keeping it out of Debian.

If a court were to rule that this is the correct definition of GPL2c, we 
likely will find that we have some infringing software in Debian, and 
we'll need to deal with it.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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