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Re: Clarification regarding PHP License and DFSG status

On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 00:34:29 -0400 Nathanael Nerode wrote:

> Francesco Poli wrote:
> > If I understand correctly, you are saying that one can
> > 
> >  * purge the Zend Engine from PHP+ZendEngine (which are under the
> >  PHP
> >    License)
> >  * take the Zend Engine as distributed by Zend (that is to say,
> >  under
> >    the Zend License)
> Actually, according to the PHP license :-), the Zend engine as
> distributed by PHP can be used under the Zend license if extracted
> from PHP+ZendEngine....

Ah well, yes, right: one step is thus useless.
The two above-mentioned steps can be substituted by:

 * separate the Zend Engine (under the Zend License) from PHP+ZendEngine

> >  * recreate the collective work PHP+ZendEngine with PHP under the
> >  PHP
> >    License and Zend Engine under the Zend License
> > 
> > Is this what you meant?
> Yes.
> > Is this what the Debian package maintainer is doing?
> No idea.

Sorry, this point is moot anyway, since the PHP license is automatically
upgradeable (we can always choose to distribute under any later version
of the license), and now there is version 3.0 of the license, which does
not include the above clause.

OK, let's concentrate on version 3.0 of the PHP license, then.

The only issue that I see in PHP license version 3.0 *as applied to PHP
itself* is:

|   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"

This starts as a name-change clause, but then goes beyond and forbids an
entire class of names for derived works (any name having "PHP" as a
substring, minus some exceptions).
This is overreaching, IMO, and makes the clause non-free.

If other debian-legal contributors agree that this clause makes PHP
non-free, I think the PHP group should be contacted and (politely) asked
for a license change.

The best solution would be persuading the PHP group to state that they
adopt the 2-clause BSD license[1] as version 4.0 of the PHP license.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/info/BSD_2Clause.html

Otherwise, they can simply publish a new version of the PHP license
(3.1?) with this clause purged, or, at least, narrowed down to something
along the lines of:

|   4. Products derived from this software may not be called "PHP"
|   without prior written permission from group@php.net.

What do others think?

    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
 Key fingerprint = C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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