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Re: Clarification regarding PHP License and DFSG status

On Mon, 26 Dec 2005, Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 23:08:09 -0500 Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > (FYI, Don wasn't claiming either of these. He was explaining how
> > the restriction being called non-free could be tied to the DFSG;
> > that's not the same as claiming it's non-free *due* to that.)
> Don's statement seemed (at least to me) in agreement with my claims.
> Don, could you clarify?
> Apologies in advance, should I find out I misunderstood your words.

I just provided the basis for your claim; I personally haven't decided
myself whether or not this clause is DFSG Free or not. It is quite
certainly on the border.[1]
That being said, I see no reason why any upstream would ever need such
a phrase in their license. 

For the two cases which we care about:

1: In the case of works that are not PHP or obviously derived works of
PHP, such a clause is most likely non-free, as it has nothing to do
with requiring a namechange at all.

2: In the case of PHP itself, derived works that would be confusingly
similar to PHP should be enjoined by trademark law, not copyright.
[Not surprisingly, it is easily conceivable that Debian itself is
falling afoul of this clause by distributing a derivative works of PHP
which contain 'php'[2].]

Don Armstrong

1: On cases like this, I'd strongly suggest working with upstream to
change the license while keeping the work in question in the archive.

2: Although, I suppose the nitpickers out there will notice that the
licence specifies 'PHP', not 'php'... ;-)
Grimble left his mother in the food store and went to the launderette
and watched the clothes go round. It was a bit like colour television
only with less plot.
 -- Clement Freud _Grimble_

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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