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Re: Clarification regarding PHP License and DFSG status



On Mon, 28 Nov 2005 13:46:33 -0500 Charles Fry wrote:

> The one big thing that everyone in this thread has missed is that we
> are trying to establish the utility of this licence to software
> explicitely distributed by the PHP Group at php.net in Pear or Pecl.

What I did is a review of the license.
While doing that, I pointed out all the issues I could find, for
completeness' sake.
I found three sets of issues: the ones that come up when

* the license is applied to PHP itself,
* the license is applied to other software distributed by the PHP Group
* the license is applied to other software that has nothing to do with
  the PHP Group (apart from the license choice, of course) 

> 
> > > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> > > --- The PHP License, version 3.01
> > > Copyright (c) 1999 - 2005 The PHP Group. All rights reserved.
> > > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> > > ---
> > [...]
> > > 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.
> > 
> > This is a sort of name-change clause (permitted by DFSG#4) *if* the
> > license is applied to PHP itself.
> > It's really inappropriate for anything that is *not* PHP itself
> > (especially when the copyright holder is not the PHP Group).
> 
> The question here is whether or not it is appropriate for software
> explicitely distributed by the PHP Group.

I'm not particularly fond of clauses like the above quoted one, but it
seems to me that it does not harm for PHP itself and (possibly) for
other software distributed the PHP Group.

I think it's inappropriate for anything else (but I'm repeating
myself...).

> 
> > > 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"
> > 
> > When the license is applied to PHP itself, 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.
> > 
> > This gets even worse when applied to anything that is not PHP
> > itself.
> 
> Again, what about for software explicitely distributed by the PHP
> Group?

As I said, I think the clause is non-free even for PHP itself.

> 
> > [...]
> > > 6. Redistributions of any form whatsoever must retain the
> > > following acknowledgment:
> > > "This product includes PHP software, freely available from
> > > <http://www.php.net/software/>".
> > 
> > This clause forces redistributors to lie, *if* the license is
> > applied to anything that is neither PHP itself, nor "PHP software"
> > (actually available from <http://www.php.net/software/>).
> > OK for PHP itself and some other software, non-free for anything
> > else.
> 
> Again, missing the point.
> 
> These guys are trying to come up with a licence that is fit both for
> distributing PHP and PHP Group software (available at the above URL).
> 
> The question for Debian is whether or not this licence is acceptable
> for the large class of Pear/Pecl modules available from php.net (from
> the PHP Group).

The answer is that *this clause* is OK for PHP itself and other software
available from <http://www.php.net/software/> (as long as it qualifies
as "PHP software").
But again, I'm repeating myself: I may seem to be missing the point, but
you (almost) seem to have missed my answers...  :(

> 
> > > THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE PHP DEVELOPMENT TEAM ``AS IS''
> > 
> > Once again false for anything not provided by the PHP development
> > team.
> 
> Sure, but true for stuff that is (and one could argue that anything
> from the PHP Group is).

So, you answered yourself: this disclaimer is not an issue *when*
applied to software provided by the PHP Group.

> 
> > Ah, I forgot the last part: I'll quote it now...
> > 
> > | This software consists of voluntary contributions made by many
> > | individuals on behalf of the PHP Group.
> > 
> > Again false for anything not made on behalf of the PHP Group.
> 
> All right, so per your analysis, this licence seems perfectly fit for
> software distributed by the PHP Group, which is the current matter at
> hand.

No, it does not.
I think the PHP License (version 3.01) is non-free, even when applied to
PHP itself (and other software provided by the PHP Group).

To summarize:

 - when the license is applied to PHP itself (or to other software
   provided by the PHP Group), the only problematic clause is #4.

 - when the license is applied to anything else, a bunch of additional
   issues come up

> 
> Charles

P.S.: Please do not reply to me and Cc: the list, as I didn't asked it.
Simply reply to the list only: I would rather avoid receiving replies
*twice*. Thanks.

-- 
    :-(   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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