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Re: php5-xapian: PHP licence vs GPL



On Sat, 18 Apr 2009 09:52:35 +0200 Florian Weimer wrote:

> * Olly Betts:
> 
> > It's possible this FAQ entry may not have been updated for GPLv3 - I
> > notice that it talks about PHP4, which is obsolete now, and PHP5 predates
> > GPLv3.
> 
> Yes, I think this may be the case.

The same page extensively talks about GPLv3 and GPLv2, explicitly
distinguishing the two versions when a license is compatible with one,
but not with the other.  See, for instance:

| Apache License, Version 2.0
|
| This is a free software license, compatible with version 3 of the GPL.
|
| Please note that this license is not compatible with GPL version 2,
| because it has some requirements that are not in the older version.
| These include certain patent termination and indemnification provisions.

quoted from
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses

It's obviously possible that they forgot to update the PHP license
entry, but it seems unlikely.

Moreover, it should be noted that they also state the Apache License,
Version 1.1 is incompatible with the GNU GPL, because of an overly
aggressive name-change clause, similar to the one included in the PHP
License:

| Apache License, Version 1.1
|
| This is a permissive non-copyleft free software license. It has a few
| requirements that render it incompatible with the GNU GPL, such as
| strong prohibitions on the use of Apache-related names.

quoted from
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLIncompatibleLicenses

> 
> > I guess Florian's thinking is based on additional restrictions allowed
> > by GPLv3 7c:
> >
> >     c) Prohibiting misrepresentation of the origin of that material, or
> >     requiring that modified versions of such material be marked in
> >     reasonable ways as different from the original version  
> 
> Right, and there is also this one:
> 
>     d) Limiting the use for publicity purposes of names of licensors or
>     authors of the material; or
> 
> (When applied to the *PHP* group.)  And:
> 
>     e) Declining to grant rights under trademark law for use of some
>     trade names, trademarks, or service marks; or
> 
> > If so, the key issue seems to be whether the naming restriction in section 4
> > of the PHP licence can be considered "reasonable":
> 
> >
> >   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"
> 
> This may not be covered by c), but I think it's covered by e).

I don't think it's covered by e), either.

Clause #4 of the PHP License v3.01 seems to forbid me to use the
following names for a derivative work of PHP:
 * RALPHPANTHER
 * TELEGRAPHPOLE
 * GRAPHPOOL
 * GRAPHPAINTER
 * GRAPHPRODUCER
 * ...

Since I don't think the above names are confusingly similar to "PHP",
I am under the impression that no trademark right grants are needed in
order to use those names for a server-side script interpreter...
At least, this is how I (poorly) understand trademark laws: if I am
wrong, anyone who's more knowledgeable than me is encouraged to correct
me.

Assuming the above is correct, clause #4 of the PHP License v3.01 is
doing something more restrictive than simply "declining to grant rights
under trademark law".


Disclaimers, of course: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.


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