Re: PHP License for PHP Group packages
On Wed, Feb 15, 2006 at 05:16:54PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > | 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
> > The usual no-endorsement clause that we consider acceptable in BSD
> > licenses and the like is different, because it talks about the name of
> > the copyright holder or contributors, not about the name of the original
> > work.
> Why is that an important difference, in terms of freeness?
> > Clause #3 of the PHP License v3.01 forbids promoting derivative works
> > with sentences like "This product is based on PHP" or "This product is a
> > modified version of the famous PHP scripting language interpreter",
> > which are true and do not harm the PHP Group, AFAICS.
> I'm not sure this is a correct reading of "endorse or promote". "This
> product is based on PHP" is a factual statement, and implies no endorsement
> or promotion by the PHP Group. In contrast, saying "supported by PHP" or
> "works with PHP" implies an endorsement.
Well, saying "this product is based on PHP" in an ad is using the name "PHP"
to promote the product.
The corresponding BSD clause:
3. Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors
may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software
without specific prior written permission.
I think this prohibits saying "powered by stuff written by Steve Langasek
and the University of California" in an advertisement without permission,
but not "... powered by Subversion".
The PHP license, and others, took this clause and changed "the name of
its contributors, etc." to "the name of the product", creating something
different. The Subversion says that if I fork Subversion, I can't say
"based on Subversion!" in an advertisement.
It seems fine (though probably legally redundant) for a license to say
"don't claim I endorsed something I didn't", but "don't mention the use
of this software in your ads" is less clear. If the PHP and Subversion
licenses don't say that, then I'm not sure how I'm misreading them.
(FWIW, I don't have a strong opinion on this; I just want to understand
4. The hosted project names must not be used to endorse or promote
products derived from this software without prior written
permission. For written permission, please contact email@example.com.
(I find it curious that this license--the old Apache one--simultaneously
requires an acknowledgement in the documentation, and prohibits mention
in advertisement. They want credit, but not too much credit?)