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

Hi Ian,

Thanks for bringing this up.

On 30/07/14 at 13:09 +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> There has been an ongoing and wholly unproductive conversation on
> -legal about some difficulties with the PHP licence.
> Would it be possible for us to obtain some proper legal advice ?
> Do we have a relationship with the SFLC we could use for this ?

Sure, we could ask for advice from SFLC about this.

> If so I would be happy to write up a summary of the facts and the
> questions to put to our lawyers.  I think this is likely to be
> straightforward but I would send a draft to -legal and ftpmaster@ to
> check that the answer would actually resolve the problem one way or
> another.

I think that such a summary would be very useful, at least to increase
the awareness about the issue, and to improve the description of the
violation on ftpmasters' REJECT FAQ.

However, based on my own (possibly limited) understanding of the
issue[1], this is case of a license (the PHP License) with sub-optimal
wording that is misused by third parties, as it was initially designed
for PHP itself, and is used for random software written in PHP.
As a result, the license adds some restrictions for derivative works
that could prevent software under that license to meet the DFSG.

So I think that it is important to distinguish between two different
(1) Is there a legal risk for Debian to distribute such software?
(2) Does the Debian project want to tolerate and ignore this sad
    situation, or try to make the world a better place by working
    on fixing this mess?

[1] built on reading #728196, the thread starting at
and the one starting at

When you have a summary and questions ready, we can work together on
forwarding them to SFLC for legal advice.


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