[License-review] Request for Legacy Approval of PHP License 3.01

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Thu Mar 5 17:08:21 UTC 2020

On Thu, Mar 5, 2020 at 11:04 AM McCoy Smith <mccoy at lexpan.law> wrote:

> I'd like to raise two provocative, and difficult, question here:
> 1. Does this license, and it's predecessor PHP License 3.0, satisfy the OSD, specifically OSD 3? I'm thinking particularly about the following requirements:
>   "4. Products derived from this software may not be called "PHP", nor may "PHP" appear in their name, without prior written permission from group at 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 seems to me a bit problematic given it's (AFAIK) not a registered trademark of the software authors. It appears to be restricting certain modifications of the software or the way that licensees may present modified versions of that software.

The breadth of this clause is the stated justification for classifying
the PHP license as GPL-incompatible by the FSF; however, the FSF
considers it a free software license.
See: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html?#PHP-3.01

There is a similar clause is in the Apache Software License 1.1 and
the OpenSSL license and probably several other legacy permissive
licenses from that general era. However the second sentence may be
unique to the PHP license.


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