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Re: PHP-Nuke License Conclusion?

Hi Ron,

On Sun, May 04, 2003 at 12:26:34PM -0400, Ron wrote:

> I found the thread at
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200302/msg00164.html
> regarding the licensing information on PHP-Nuke.  Unfortunately, I was
> unable to find a conclusion/consensus on the issue.  As an end user of this
> program, can anyone tell me if this program qualifies as Free Software?   I
> do not wish to spew out a "powered by PHP-Nuke" footer on every page.  I do
> not believe that this is in the spirit of the GPL at all.  I wish to display
> credits on a seperate page on my site, not as a footer on every page.

> Am I allowed to do this?  Is the PHP-Nuke author allowed to force the users
> to display messages on all their web pages?  I will move to a different CMS
> if this is the case.

> Thank you for your time and assistance.

The copyright holder of a work is free to license the work under the
terms of his choosing.  Although the PHP-Nuke author has stated the work
is under the GPL, he imposes the additional restriction (one which we
believe is NOT part of the GPL normally) to display credits on every web
page output by the software.  As such, the consensus on debian-legal is
that PHP-Nuke does not comply with the DFSG and should not be included
in Debian's main archive.

To the question of whether the PHP-Nuke author is able to impose this
restriction, that question can be rephrased as: is he the exclusive
copyright holder?  If he is, he can license it however he wants.  If he
isn't, he may be infringing the copyright of the other copyright holders
by releasing the work under this modified GPL.  This seems to be an open
question at present.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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