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Re: [PEAR-QA] PHP License

While I agree we probably need to  review 3-5.. It may be worth
reminding debial-legal that AFAIK packages like phpgroupware, phpbb etc.
violate the PHP licence.. So I do hope they are addressing those issues
with as much vigor... ;)

The easiest solution is probably need to call this the PEAR licence...
and just rename the phrases in 3-5 to say PEAR instead of PHP....


On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 18:30 -0400, Charles Fry wrote:
> Hi,
> I am working with other members of the Debian devlopment team to include
> many of your fine PEAR packages in Debian. One recurring problem has
> been consistently arising however, that we have had a hard time
> addressing at the correct level, which is why I am contacting you about
> it.
> The problem is that many of the PEAR packages are licensed under the PHP
> License. As you probably know, many packages take the PHP License by
> default, probably because they assume that they are writting in PHP and
> so they want to use the same license.
> The problem is that the current version of The PHP License (version 3.0)
> contains several clauses which are specific to the PHP language, and
> either inapplicable or even problematic for applications written in PHP.
> For the sake of completeness, and in an effort to get this issue ironed
> out once and for all, let's walk through the six points of The PHP
> License:
>   1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
>   notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
>   2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
>   notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
>   documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
> These two points are almost identical to the first two points in the BSD
> License, and are all kinds of good. :-)
>   3. The name "PHP" must not be used to endorse or promote products
>   derived from this software without prior written permission. For
>   written permission, please contact group@php.net.
>   4. Products derived from this software may not be called "PHP", nor
>   may "PHP" appear in their name, without prior written permission from
>   group@php.net. You may indicate that your software works in
>   conjunction with PHP by saying "Foo for PHP" instead of calling it
>   "PHP Foo" or "phpfoo"
> Hmm. These two points are very specific to distributions of the PHP
> language. A PHP application that is distributed separately from PHP
> itself should 1) not need to stipulate how the name "PHP" is used, and
> 2) probably lacks any authority to make such claims.
>   5. The PHP Group may publish revised and/or new versions of the
>   license from time to time. Each version will be given a distinguishing
>   version number. Once covered code has been published under a
>   particular version of the license, you may always continue to use it
>   under the terms of that version. You may also choose to use such
>   covered code under the terms of any subsequent version of the license
>   published by the PHP Group. No one other than the PHP Group has the
>   right to modify the terms applicable to covered code created under
>   this License.
> Good, good.
>   6. Redistributions of any form whatsoever must retain the following
>   acknowledgment: "This product includes PHP, freely available from
>   <http://www.php.net/>".
> Ouch. This means that I can't distribute a PEAR module released under
> the PHP License without bundling in PHP itself. This makes it impossible
> to distribute PEAR modules by themselves (i.e. not bundled with the PHP
> language) in a deb or an rpm. :-(
> The problem is severe enough that we are currently unable to package
> PEAR modules for Debian when they are relased under the PHP License. We
> attempt to contact the upstream authors, and ask them to adopt a new
> license, but our requests are not always accepted.
> So, what can be done to rectify this situation?
>   1) The PHP License itself could be modified to become a more generic
>   license, removing points that don't apply to PHP applications, making
>   it compatible with its current use by most PEAR modules. (Arguably the
>   resultant license would be indistinguishable from the BSD license.)
>   2) The PEAR Group could change its licensing policy, and no longer
>   include the PHP License in the list of officially acceptable PEAR
>   licenses. Of course it might take a while for existing modules to be
>   changed, but if the PEAR Group had an official position on this, it
>   would be a lot easier for us to work with individual package
>   maintainers to incrementally make this change.
> Your assistance in finding a workable solution to this problem is
> solicited. As you can tell, we at Debian are quite excited about PEAR
> and the clean interface which it provides for installing and working
> with PHP modules. Thus our interest in working this issue out, so that
> we can include more PEAR modules in Debian. :-)
> Let me clarify that while I maintain several Debian packages (including
> several PEAR modules), I am not yet an official Debian developer. Nor do
> I speak officially on behalf of the Debian community. I am simply
> attempting to assist our two groups (Debian and PEAR) in coming to a
> resolution which will address the licensing issue outlined above. I
> realize that this issue may have been partially discussed in the past,
> but given the current state of things, I consider it currently
> unresolved.
> Thank you for your time and consideration in evaluating and dealing with
> this licensing issue.
> Charles
Alan Knowles <alan@akbkhome.com>

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