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Re: PHP License for PHP Group packages

> > Once again, I repeat my claim: that the 3.01 version of the PHP License
> > is equally fit for licensing PHP itself and PHP Group software. This
> > claim has been upheld over months of sporadic discussion on the matter
> > at debian-legal.
> So lets look at that license, not only for "allow php group to use it in
> Debian", but also for others who made the mistake to use this license.

First things first. After months of sporadic debian-legal discussion,
it has not been suggested that this license is fit for other software.
But it has been suggested by multiple people that it is as fit for PHP
Group software as for PHP itself. Given that there is a large PHP
community adopting the PHP License by default (the equivilant of CPAN
for PHP), this is a significant decision which must be made.

I have worked as much as possible with the PEAR Group in an effort to
address this. They recognized the problems with the previous license
(3.0), and were ready to abandon it if unable to get the PHP Group to
modify the license. Pierre Joye of the PEAR Group took the license
issues to the PHP Group, who accepted to make minimal possible changes
to the license to make it equally applicible to PHP Group software as to
PHP itself, because of the community issues outlined above. Pierre says
that they have made the maximal changes that they are willing to make,
and that he can not ask for any more from them.

This leaves us in the position of needing to evaluate the modified PHP
License (3.01) with respect to all PHP Group software. While someone
with a close personal relationship with the PHP Group might be able to
convince them to make further modifications to their license, such a
person has not yet materialized, and so we are left deciding whether or
not the license is fit as is for the large array of software distributed
by the PHP Group.

> Point 4 of it, as already pointed out by Don, is broken. Yes, there is
> other software with a similar problem, but that doesnt mean it shouldnt
> get fixed too. Drop the "nor may PHP appear anywhere in its name" part
> to make it better, thats the real bad thing in it.

As previously mentioned by others, your stance on this can't be
inconsistant. Either you reject all licenses that contain such clauses
as non-free, or you recognize that this isn't significant enough to be a
show-stopper for inclusion in Debian. The latter has been followed for
all other licenses, and unless that changes I think there is substantial
precedent to do the same in this case.

> Point 5 the last sentence is bad.

The clause in question is:

    "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."

This is similar to clause 9 of the GPL, which makes it possible to apply
future licenses in place of the current license. The difference here is
that they always give you that option, where as in the GPL (as I
understand it) that privilege must be explicitely granted.

All that they are saying with the last sentence is that I can't take the
PHP License, release a new version myself (that is not published by the
PHP Group), and then suddenly claim that anything previously distributed
under the PHP Group's PHP License is now distributable under my new
license, because it is a new version of the PHP License.

In other words, only PHP License changes made by the PHP Group themself
can be automatically applied to any code ever released under the PHP
License. Sounds reasonable to me.

> Point 6 is broken for anything !PHP.

Pending discussion in a seperate thread. But to summarize, it applies to
all PHP software that is distributed at <http://www.php.net/software/>,
which includes PEAR and PECL packages.


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