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Re: [PHP-QA] Debian and the PHP license

Charles Plessy writes ("Re: [PHP-QA] Debian and the PHP license"):
> I think that it is important that a few of the ‘some members’ would
> identify themselves in support for that request, and explain what
> they would do if the worries expressed below turned out to be true.

At the moment people are playing bug tag, and packages are being
sometimes rejected or sometimes prevented from migrating to testing.

If the worries turn out to be justified then we should apply that same
policy to all of the affected packages - but in fact, I would hope
that given an unequivocal statement from actual laywers it would be
easy to persuade the PHP developers to change the licence.

> If the only support for contacting lawyers comes from Developers who
> have the least stakes in the question (GR only), then we should
> really consider if the work that we are about to ask to the lawyers
> will be wasted in the trash bin instead of being seriously
> considered.

If the worries turn out to be unjustified then I hope that the people
who have been complaining would stop doing so.

> Here are two other coments on the text itself.
> > Q4. Does the fact that the PHP licence conditions about the use of the
> >    PHP name are contained in the actual copyright licence, rather than
> >    in a separate trademark licence, significantly increase the risks
> >    we would face if we had a disagreement with upstream about our
> >    modifications (or our failure to seek approval) ?
> Note that PHP does not hold a trademark on the PHP name and therefore
> can not grant a trademark license.

I will mention this.

> It is important to note that clarifications on the PHP license have
> already been given by PHP developers.  The question is then if they
> are free to revert their clarifications and use a new interpretation
> of their license to force Debian to stop distributing or modifying
> PHP and its modules.

This clarification is not sufficient because in the general case the
copyright to a PHP addons is not held by the PHP developers and so the
actual copyrightholders of the addon haven't issued the clarification.
And future joint copyrightholders of PHP itself may not have
participated in the clarification.

If you disagree, perhaps you'd like to suggest a workable process to
distinguish addons for which we can rely on the clarification, from
ones where we can't.

Personally I think that is a daft way to carry on and we (the Free
Software community as a whole including Debian and the PHP community)
should either dismiss these concerns (if they are unfounded), or fix
them properly (if they are well-founded).


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