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

On 31 July 2014 01:03:00 CEST, Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> wrote:
>Back to the question of rebranding, the PHP developers have already
>that because PHP is a three-letter word, they are not in a position to
>protect their name with a trademark.   Therefore, they do it with a
>We can not take Mate and distribute it as “Gnome Plus”.  We can not
>take a fork
>of PHP and call it “BetterPhp”.  People can not take a Debian CD, add
>software, and sell it as “Debian Enhanced”.  We and other protect our
>and PHP does it too.  I do not see a problem.

There are two problems with trying to use a copyright licence to do the job of a trademark. It's like trying to use a gun to cut your steak.

One, it doesn't affect people who write something without using your code. We could clean- room write the perfect hamster punisher and then distribute it as PHP, possibly harming their reputation, but their licence would do nothing to stop us. This is not a worry for Debian but it does show why the licence term is not much like a trademark.

Secondly, unless it says otherwise, a naming restriction in a copyright licence doesn't permit honest source attribution and all the other nominative and fair uses that a trademark would. This is more of a problem for Debian.

Isn't part of the reason why the name PHP cannot be trademarked that restricting use of such a simple name is obnoxious?

There are many ways this could be solved, but the ostrich approach of closing the bugs without fixing them and hiding this from users must be one of the worst. Please support another approach.
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

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