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Re: Clarification regarding PHP License and DFSG status

> > Given this, I would like to once again suggest that the Pear Group
> > consider removing the PHP License from their list of accepted licenses.
> > As previously discussed, existing projects may take time to be
> > relicensed, but I see no reason to allow new Pear projects to use the
> > PHP License (which developers may blindly accept as the PHP default).
> We can only recommand to do not use it for pear.

That is all I was hoping to ask. :-) Pear projects previously adopted
the PHP License almost by default. If it is still problematic, then it
should not be recommended.

> > If you have strong feelings to the contrary, I would be most interested
> > in hearing them. My hope is that in the long term we will be able to
> > come to a solution that allows Debian to freely distribute the bulk of
> > the Pear projects.
> But I somehow miss the point here, as all softwares using the PHP
> License will only be available through php.net, the legal issues
> having been solved, what is the current stopping point? Besides these
> clauses, they were already reported as non free but in no way illegal.
> I mean it is the reason why PHP is not GPL compatible but it does not
> make the PHP license illegal, or useless for packages available under
> the php.net umbrella. Or am I missing something?

You are correct that the big illegalities were dealt with. But there
some of the original problematic clauses still remain. I'll attempt to
briefly summarize here.

> >    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.

It is unclear whether this clause is even viable for PHP itself. This
looks like something that should be handled by a trademark, not by a

That said, this clause is only relevant when applied to PHP itself. What
does it mean that "the name 'PHP' must not be used to endorse or promote
products derived from" CodeGen_PECL? Does that mean that any derivitves
of that package must modify the description which currently states
"CodeGen_PECL (formerly known as PECL_Gen) is a pure PHP replacement
for the ext_skel shell script". Does the phrase "pure PHP replacement"
use the name "PHP" to promote your product?

I simply can't think of a single case in which it would even be
desirable for a Pear package derivitive to be forbidden from using the
name "PHP" for its endorsement or promotion.

Regardless of what you think about the clause's applicibility to PHP
itself, it is clearly absolutely irrelevant to Pear packages.

> >    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"

The obvious intent of this clause is to prevent someone from making a
derivitive of PHP and the calling it "PHP Improved" or "SpeedyPHP". It
is understandable that PHP wouldn't want any of its derivitives to be
confused with the real PHP, or be incorrectly perceived as official
improvements/extensions to PHP.

But what does it mean when applied to Pear modules? If I make a
derivitive of your Image_Transform package, I can't call it

Or take phpDocumentor, released under the PHP License. If I were to
create a derivitive I would be forbidden from calling it phpDocumentor2
(even though the original was called phpDocumentor).

No Pear program (nor any other program besides PHP) is aversely affected
by a derivitive including PHP in its name. This clause simply is of no
value to anything except for PHP itself.

All right, that was probably more than you wanted to hear, but hopefully
it makes things more clear. :-)

Given that the only functionaly useful clauses in the PHP Licence when
used by Pear programs are those in the BSD License, it seems reasonable
to simply use that instead.


On curves ahead
Remember, sonny
That rabbit's foot
Didn't save
The bunny

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