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Re: PHP non-free or wrongly named?

Scripsit MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com>

> Linguistically, this seems clear to me.

No, there's always at least formally a possibility of confusion. Even
if we ignore the "without prior written permission" part, we can parse

>   4. Products derived from this software may not be called "PHP",

in two different ways.

  (a) Derived products (may not) be called PHP.

  (b) Derived products may (not be called PHP).

Here (a) asserts the falsehood of "we have permission to call it PHP",
whereas (b) asserts that we have permission to call it something else.

The tricky part is that if we exchange "may" with "must" one would
expect the meaning to change, becuase "may" means "you have the choice
of doing this or not doing this", and "must" means "your only option
is doing this". However, conventionally, "may not do foo" is supposed
to be parsed as (a) whereas "must not do foo" is usually parsed
analogously to (b) - which makes them actually mean the same in
natural English.

I leave it as an exercise for the studious reader to express this in
a modal logic where "may" is dual to "must" ;-)

> So, it's permitted provided that {we don't have permission for some
> acts without permission from group@}.

Which is clearly a nonsensical interpretation, which means that you
should probably reboot your English parser, as it seems to have been
contaminated with some kind of rigid programming language semantics.

Word games such as these can be fun and occasionally useful for
demonstrating that a license could be interpreted in a non-free way.
But it is not our modus operandi to consider something to be *free*
based on such a reading that clearly diverges from what the author
actually did mean.

Henning Makholm          "Jeg har tydeligt gjort opmærksom på, at man ved at
                   følge den vej kun bliver gennemsnitligt ca. 48 år gammel,
               og at man sætter sin sociale situation ganske overstyr og, så
           vidt jeg kan overskue, dør i dybeste ulykkelighed og elendighed."

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