PHPNuke Copyright Notice Debate

Today, a story (beware the popups) on PHPNuke.org caught my attention. Basically, it is slamming Yale’s excellent LawMeme site because it doesn’t include a PHPNuke copyright statement at the bottom of each page. The PHPNuke people seemed to be asserting that this was required of them under the GPL.

This concerned me, as PHPNuke is a part of Debian, which has a strict set of guidelines requiring included software to be truly Free. I did some checking, and, in a post to debian-legal, highlighted the problem.

There are several interesting aspects of this saga. One is that some may consider the user to actually be distributing parts of the PHPNuke code to each person that views a webpage. Another is whether PHPNuke qualifies as an “interactive program” under the GPL. So far, these seem to be uncharted waters.

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