[php-maint] Bug#332608: DB and the PHP License

Charles Fry debian at frogcircus.org
Wed Nov 9 02:01:41 UTC 2005


As you may already be aware, a Debian package of your PEAR DB module
has been created for distribution as a part of Debian (and thereafter
all of its derivatives). Unfortunately, it was discovered that the PHP
License under which DB is released is problematic for software other
than PHP itself. This problem has already been brought before the PEAR
community, and is being actively worked on. If you are interested, you
can read about the problems with the license (when applied to software
other than PHP) and some of the ensuing discussion at:


or in one of the PEAR mailing lists which were also involved in the

To give you a sense of how uncompatible the PHP License is for the
release of software other than PHP, please consider point (6) of version

    "Redistributions of any form whatsoever must retain the following
    acknowledgment: 'This product includes PHP, freely available from

While this is perfectly reasonable when distributing PHP itself, it
would be silly to think that you really expect us to only distribute DB
bundled with the entire PHP distribution. :-)

The PEAR team is currently working on how they would like to address
this issue:


But in the meantime, Debian is forced to remove PHP Licensed packages
(except of course for PHP itself) in order avoid violating the license.

We would, however, love to keep DB in Debian if you are able to change
the licence to something more compatible with your package. The BSD
License is quite similar to the PHP License. In fact, the first two
clauses of the PHP License were drawn from the BSD License. You can find
an example BSD License at:


Note that the third point is optional, and is often left out.

We hope that you'll be able to migrate DB to a license that is not
specific to PHP itself, in order to allow us to distribute it in Debian.

Thanks for your understanding, and please feel free to contact us with
any further questions that you have regarding this matter.


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