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Raven
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:29 am Reply with quote

Note from Raven: This is the discussion venue for the article posted by pcnuke Can developers legally sell addons created for use with Php-Nuke?
Please do not quote the article/post with every answer. Just quote the part(s) you are responding to, if appropriate.


Topic: Can developers 3rd party developers legally sell addons created for use with the Php-Nuke portal system, without the permission of the Php-Nuke developer, according to law.

This article is published to gain legal information from individuals in the greater Nuke Community and for people in the community to become aware of what these rules in tale. There is currently to much confusion in the community as to what the rules are legally. The purpose of this article is not to create heated debates on the issue or any given point. If you have legal knowledge of any points below, please provide them in your comments. Also explain your points in an understandable manner, so all individuals know what you are saying. Don't just say, here read this article, it says it all. Tell the community where and why.

We are not talking about copyright laws here, or personal views on the issue, just the basic binding laws. Is every developer legally bound by the same law & rules by which the PHP-Nuke developer has chosen or not (GNU General Public License)? If so can 3rd party developers then say we do not use the GNU rules, the GNU rules do not apply to our addon, we use other rules?

PHP-Nuke is free software, released under GNU GPL Licence version 2.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

This General Public License does not permit incorporating your
program into proprietary programs.
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are a few major points that need to be addressed for the Nuke Community:

1. Since Php-Nuke was created by a single owner, can developers sell made items for use with it. Because if it were not for the creation of the Php-Nuke portal system, the 3rd party developers would have nothing to use their items with. Are they not bound then by the same legal statutes as PHP-Nuke? and since we know that Php-Nuke! is bound to the GPL/GNU laws, don't all addons have to abide by these same statutes. Meaning all addons produced for use with Php-Nuke aree bound to the GPL/GNU statues and no other source unless the portal developers changes the source.

This is what the PHP-Nuke copyright headers include:
-----------------------------------------------------------
This program is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License.

2. If the above is true, then can 3rd party developers bind an addon by other laws outside of the GPL. (I am not talking about copyright issues here. Copyright ownership basically means that know one else has the right to sell or distribute someone else's work without permission from the owner. But if the developer clearly stated that his work has been given away for freely, and anyone can use it, alter it, and distribute it, from there forth that version cannot be changed after its release and will always be bound by those legal statutes. Yes future versions may be changed, but not past versions. How can a person go back in time and do that, you can't. But know one can ever sell any copyrighted item without permission from its owner.)

3. What is the binding law on all these above issues (not copyright)?

The comment following is only a Point of View and have not been determined if any of it is legally true.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Legally is seems like if a 3rd party developer created a resource to be used within Php-Nuke, and gave that resource away free and willing to the Nuke Community, and also included in those resources in the file copyright headers this information:


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.



Then from that point on that version of their addon would always be free to the Nuke Community to use as stated in the GPL. But later if the 3rd party developer decided to sell that item, then all information as shown above, would have to be pulled from the addon, the addon would also have to be repackaged to including a new version number. The 3rd party develops would also have to announce this to the Nuke Community in some form of news release, stating these facts, so the community would be made aware of these changes & that the 3rd party developer has taken a new path with their addon. But all previous versions that were released to the community in a free and willing way by the developer will still remain that way to the community. The new rules would only apply to any future releases, not past releases.

If you reply or comment to this article, please be professional about it and stay on the points of issue, answering each or any question you have knowledge of, by legally binding statutes, not guesses.


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djmaze
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:03 am Reply with quote

[ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ]

You are using several libraries and the most important is the database library $db.
[ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ] [ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ]

To get around this the developer must add [ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ]

Enough said and my conclusion is simple: You can't sell anything.
 
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pcnuke
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:20 am Reply with quote

Im also posting this from Raven, which I found in another post, but believe it has content to this topic.


Raven wrote:
Just a comment on GPL. I contacted the OSF Lawyer team awhile back to get a reading on what we "technically/legally" can and can't do with pnpnuke for changing licenses. Basically, if you have to use phpnuke to launch your application, it is phpnuke and therefore MUST be GPL. Now the question becomes. "What is your code vs. phpnuke's code"? For instance, what if I rewrite every module by using more advanced techniques (which would be pretty much child's play)? Is it new/real or is it memorex? The OSF said that it is still phpnuke because if it smells like, tastes like, walks like but may not look like, it's still a duck. The GPL both helps and hinders. I tried all kinds of questions on them and the basic test is, "if my application NEEDS phpnuke code (intellectual property) to LAUNCH and RUN in any way, then it must be GPL licensed". But, I said, I wrote my application as stand-alone (protected license) and then offered a "nuked" version. That should be my "right". Wrong. If it needs the likes of phpnuke, it's GPL. And, it matters not whether or not it is "packaged" with phpnuke - fallacy. So, now, the legal aspect became clear. If I want to abide by the "legal" interpretation and reading, I'm hosed or I don't offer a nuke's version. Personally, I have weighed the "legal" vs. "ethical" and I find fb (ethical) wanting in a big way. He is but a "keeper" of the code - far from a 'developer'. Should we ask for a show of hands of ALL the code that fb has added to phpnuke w/o credits ROTFL . I will not go into all the reasons why it is laughable to look at him as anything else. Thus, I have chosen to not accept the OSF reading when I develop my apps. If I am modifying a known application or mine even resembles anyone else's, my mods are GPL. I will issue many things GPL for nuke. But, there is no way that fb and his 'official' development whatever will take my proprietary code and either lock it or not offer it GPL. There will be no more 'misappropriating" of my serious code.

This is not an endorsement nor is it a mandate to anyone. It's my choice - consequences are mine. Responses are welcomed. We are adults here - opinions are welcomed.



pcn

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:57 am Reply with quote

Raven (dont you have EDIT in the forum - I didnt see it)

So it seems sofar, this is what Im getting so far from the replies to the article:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. If anyone writes any kind of addon it is ruled by only GPL/GNU.
2. No item created for use with phpnuke, can be sold by its 3rd party developer.
3. Then according to the phpnuke copyright, all 3rd party developed programs have to be free, can be redistributed, and/or modified...



There fore since phpnuke creates the rules and currently use this rule below, doesnt
every item need to include this in the devloped 3rd party items copyright header area.


/************************************************************************/
/* Copyright (c) 2002 by Francisco Burzi */
/* [ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ] */
/* */
/* This program is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify */
/* it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by */
/* the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License. */
/* */
/************************************************************************/
/* Additional security checking code 2003 by chatserv */
/* [ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ] -- [ Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! ] */
/************************************************************************/


pcn
 
Raven







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:30 am Reply with quote

If you read the license from cover to cover and the FAQ, it does state that all copyrights, credits, etc. should be kept. But, in yor example above, if I develop an addon that has nothing to do with Chatserv, then I don't believe that I have to have that line. Only the original heading should be there and any other credits that directly pertain to your code or code that influenced your code.

As to charging, here again, the license has some some very loosely worded and interpretive language. You are allowed to charge a reasonable amount for the media transfer, etc. You are also allowed to charge for labor and development.

I think it would help if you would state exactly where you are coming from and/or going with this. What is your your base issue/concern?
 
Raven







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:31 am Reply with quote

pcnuke wrote:
Raven (dont you have EDIT in the forum - I didnt see it)

You should have edit afaik. You can only edit your posts of course.

Now I remember. I only allow Mods and Admins to edit in this forum. This is because I don't want things being changed and I want and expect people to give thought to what they post. You can always contact a mod/admin if you have an important change.


Last edited by Raven on Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:33 am; edited 1 time in total 
djmaze







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:49 am Reply with quote

Raven wrote:
As to charging, here again, the license has some some very loosely worded and interpretive language. You are allowed to charge a reasonable amount for the media transfer, etc. You are also allowed to charge for labor and development.


Correct you may charge but not sell or use a different license.
This also means if someone provides your package for free on his website, he is allowed to do so and you can't stop it.
It makes charging for your work pretty useless since everyone will download it from a free website eventualy, is it worth the $10 and a reduction of traffic?
Advertisements and donations receive more income, no wonder FB's website is full of it.
 
pcnuke







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:17 pm Reply with quote

Raven

yes on the chatserv, I understand, just forgot to remove that part when posting, that is why I wondered why no EDIT shows up in the forum for me, when Im logged in as a member.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

This matter truly needs to be clarified for everyone.. legally. And when it comes down to it, its either yes or no.

I want to know exactly where any person in the Nuke community stands when it comes to using any 3rd party addons that was developed for use with Php-Nuke.

If there was no Php-Nuke portal system created, then none of these addons would exist, so it seems that whatever rules or standards the creator of Php-Nuke has set, would apply to all 3rd party developed addons.

There fore Php-Nuke says:

This program is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it.

So that should apply to any and all 3rd party developments that exist, no matter who has created it.

There fore anyone should be able to use, modify, and distribute any addon, no matter who has made it, freely.

I want to know just how open source this program truly is by law. It seems that if anyone can change Php-Nuke in any way they choose & distribute it freely, (but not sell it) then anyone in the Nuke community should then be able to do this with any addon, created by anyone, for use in Php-Nuke.

Next, DjMaze says no to the issue of selling, so is everyone who is selling addons, themes, ect, for Php-Nuke breaking the law?

What you see in the Nuke community from the start, and looking back on the history of a lot of addons, is developers often took pieces of code from previous or existing addon, altered and changed them to make it better and usually they stated the previous sources or development history in the file headers.

But now its getting to the point that if anyone wants to use a piece of code from someone elses work, they are stealing it. If its truly an open source community, I dont see how thats so. All in all everyones work came from something previous, so if thats the case everyone is stealing in some way.

But if the facts are for all created Php-Nuke developments - as stated in the Php-Nuke copyright header, and it applies to all 3rd party developments too, and then it is truly an open source community and anyone can use any piece of code from anywhere, and in turn they are not stealing it, nor do they need permission to use it because Php-Nuke has set the standards for this practice.

pcn
 
technocrat
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:40 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Next, DjMaze says no to the issue of selling, so is everyone who is selling addons, themes, ect, for Php-Nuke breaking the law?

Technically, yes.

This applies to themes too. Sorry people but its true. People who sell themes are in the same boat.

Its a hard pill for people to swallow. This is why people like Maze and Burnwave have moved away from GPL on other projects. GPL swallows EVERYTHING that comes in contact with it.

I have been having the same discussions with Telli over a few of his scripts. You cannot mix licenses if you use anything in nuke, $db, $prefix, is_user(), is_admin, and on and on.

It sucks for people that want to make $ off nuke, but welcome to GPL and open source people. You arent supposed to be working on these projects to get rich.

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Raven







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:20 pm Reply with quote

I have openly and often stated that because of the very nature of the GPL and as to what is stated here, I nor anyone else has to honor the author's wishes when it comes to changing and redistribution. That is guaranteed by the GPL.

I also believe in the ethical and moral issues that licenses, whether GPL or not, affect. I try to honor the requests of other authors. It's called professionalism. Also refered to as mutual respect. Burnwave's Emporium is a prime example. When he left its development, he turned it over to someone else. It requires nuke to function but he has placed a license in it that is, legally, null and void. Nuke Royal is the same way. I could package it in RavenNuke(tm) and there is nothing, legally, that the author can do about it.

So, the bottom line for me, is whether I want to uphold the letter of the law, or do I want to be fair, ethical, moral, and professional, and uphold the intent of the author and respect the time and effort that was put into their product. I would rather be known for the latter and carry a good reputation and respect in the Community.
 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:53 pm Reply with quote

Exactly. If one wanted to get rich from Nuke, would they need the FB commercial license to be legal? I've seen many addons take this direction, FB licensed or not, and it definitely irks those of us who nuke for community, for non-profit, for fun. Unfortunately, we're usually left with some dusty version, never to be supported again. That's nuker life, but it still sucks when your fav addon author gets greedy and your own pockets aren't deep enough to support their wildest fantasies.



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Raven







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:01 pm Reply with quote

His commercial license is a joke. Nuke is GPL - period. It can't exist under 2 different licenses.
 
technocrat







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:13 pm Reply with quote

I have my doubts that FB can read.
 
pcnuke







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:33 pm Reply with quote

So when a 3rd party developer tells a person that they now have to pay them money to use the addon they created. that has always been freely distributed until recently & threatens legals actions if the distributuion is not stopped, tell me who is at fault here?

When, as stated above, a person cannot charge for any Php-Nuke development.

Does the person who is distributing the 3rd party addon have to stop its distribution?

Does the 3rd party developer have any legal grounds to pursue with?

Is the 3rd party developer committing fraud by seeking payment for an item?

According to what Ive read above, the 3rd party developer has no grounds to pursue legal actions & the distibution does not have to stop, plus he is committing fraud.

These are some of the scare tactics people are using in the Nuke Community where it is suppose to be an open source & free community, this is the reason I started this thread and actions like these have got to stop!

pcn
 
tactixs
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:42 pm Reply with quote

How i think about this thread,

I am 100% behind the fact of protecting someones intelectual rights, concepts and material developments.
If someone wishes to share his own creation rather then selling it, so be it respected.
In this case if FB wants php-nuke to remain a free software and everyone who creates addons for it and also wants to offer their "own" addons for free that is their own choice and should also be respected.

Problem to me and this discussion around php-nuke is the following: I haven't followed this softwares development since long but from version 7.6 and didn't even kept up to date with it's later versions but from what i understand is that this software exists of 1 basic element, namely; php-nuke core engine.
It is around this engine that you can add and extend a site and it's functionalities throughout addons created next to the basic software.

It is only fair to me that the core engine of php-nuke should remain free at all times for aslong as the initial author of it wishes it to be so.

As for the addons, well their is a significant difference between ones that should be paid and ones that should be distributed freely.

The fact that your addons/modules would be worthless or useless if php-nuke never existed is totally irrelevant to the thread and the core element of what makes php-nuke today.

When community members desire to create an addon and distribute it for free, it is their own personal choice.
When software developpers want's to create a usefull addon for cms softwares for defined a price it is also their personal choice but this is a plain business decision.

Let me describe a few situations for this modules or addons matters.
Say, i run a site powered by the php-nuke cms and i need some specific functions added or solution to work with my site but there is no module on the entire internet that can take care of what i need. What are my options?
I can ask some members of the php-nuke community if they would be willing to create a new module from scratch specifically designed for my site and hope that there would be at least one person that would be willing to do this for free but this might not be the case and perhaps no one would be willing to and i would not be helped.

I could ask a professional company or developer to do the job for me and he would definately charge me a certain amount of money for it and my problem is solved.

Now to whom belongs the rights to decide of what will happen with the new module who was created for my personal site? FB? I don't think so....

If there was no intrest for php-nuke from people there would be no php-nuke today.
If there was no php-nuke, then there would be still plenty of other free solutions.

The thing is, people all need different solutions and some are willing to pay for it and some others don't. In my opinion php-nuke is worth paying for it as for what it's worth as a web application and the fact that people are making donations for it as well as for modules proves that the work put in it's developments is worth some money.

Bottom line is if you want to make something and share it for free, it's your choice, if you want to take an opportunity and offer additional solutions for money it's your choice.

And finally, the choice is yours if you want to donate/pay or not, no one forces you, it's your own choice.

This is just my opinion and how i feel about this thread.
 
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Raven







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:48 pm Reply with quote

The lawyers in charge of the GPL and the OSF have sent me a letter in response to these specific questions and the legal response is if it requires phpNuke (or a gpl application in general) to use it, it is gpl and you can't change it. You may own the copyright to the code, but as long as you need phpnuke to use it (any part of phpnuke) the license remains gpl. If phpnuke is not needed to run it, say you wrap it in an IFRAME or use an external link, then you can place whatever license you want on it.
 
pcnuke







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:57 pm Reply with quote

Raven

So then how would you answer the issues in my last post?

pcn
 
Guardian2003
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:35 pm Reply with quote

pcnuke, I thought your questions had already been answered.
From what I have understood of this thread, you can charge a fee for development, media transfer and labour.
What you cannot do is change the license, terms of the license.

So in essence if I was to d/l an add-on that required phpnuke in order for it to work and it was free, the author could not then change his terms and say, now I want $10 for you to use it.
What the author CAN do is charge $10 for another version or even the same version if I wanted to d/l it again but CAN NOT charge me to actually be able to 'use' the add-on.

No moving on to 3rd part developers. If I asked someone to make me a module and I paid $200 for it, I could offer it for free or charge for it - the choice is mine to make whether I want to sell it the same as it is your choice to decide whether you want to buy it.
Where it gets complicated is if I sell the module on my site for $20, someone d/l's it and then sells it for $10 - nothing I can do about it!
 
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djmaze







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:54 pm Reply with quote

1. You may ask money for anything as long as the ammount is reasonable (time spend, hosting/bandwidth costs)

2. You may ask money for additional support, documentation or anything else that doesn't need php-nuke to run.

3. The code must be GPL since it needs GPL software to run

4. Anyone else may freely distribute and modify your 3rd party software

5. If you encoded the source with Zend, BCompiler, eAccelerator or anything else and someone requests the plain source you must give it to him

A good example of making money from GPL software is RedHat which distributes Linux for free but receives money for anything else they do.

NOTE: Someone may ask you to develop code for him to use in his nuke and pay you for that. This is completely legal but the code remains GPL so both, the client and the developer, may decide to release it for free to the public or not.

Example: I design a theme for someone and he pays me $100 for it. The theme.php is GPL but the images are not since the images can work properly without nuke.
In this case i am free to release the theme.php and *.html files but not the images.
 
pcnuke







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:58 pm Reply with quote

Guardian2003

thanks for your answer and posting it in an understandable manner for most readers. Im not trying to repeat myself, just clarify areas where I need answers.

You see I posted this topic to get a truly legal point of view, not opions, and it has been said that you cannot sell any addon legally that was made to work with php-nuke & Raven has backed that with his comments from the lawyers.

So to me if a person is demanding cash from me or anyone to use &/or distribute an addon they created, it is fraud pure & simple. Futhermore they have no legal right to sell it.

As raven states above as an example, any block or module that needs phpnuke to operate would not form as a chargable 3rd party addon, & there fore cannot be sold legally.

pcn
 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:45 pm Reply with quote

djmaze,
"Example: I design a theme for someone and he pays me $100 for it. The theme.php is GPL but the images are not since the images can work properly without nuke.
In this case i am free to release the theme.php and *.html files but not the images."

From the way I have read all this....if you released your images in a nuke...anything...it is now GPL.

So you have a theme with theme.php, index.php and /images....from the way I read this those images are now GPL is that correct?
 
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Guardian2003







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:48 pm Reply with quote

I think you are missing the point entirely if I'm not mistaken.
If I was to make an add-on and charge $10 for it, that would be perfectly legal as my 'fee' would be to cover development etc - just as the author of phpnuke himself does.
It would also be legal for you to make it available for free.
I wouldnt like it and your site might develop mysterious problems Smile but legally I would not be able to stop you.

Where it gets messy as with djmaze's example of images, if you distributed my add-on and it contained images or 'other' material that did not need nuke for it to work, you would not be able to include those in the distribution.
 
Guardian2003







PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:52 pm Reply with quote

Dawg - no that is not corect.
Yes, the 'distributed code' would come under the GPL umbrella IF it cannot work without nuke but the images CAN work without nuke so they would not be covered by GPL and seperate intellectual/property rights would exist.
If djmaze made a theme and gave it to you for free or asked you to pay $10 you would still be able to redistribute theme for free or for a fee BUT you would not be able to include the images if djmaze had made the images himself or had them made for him.
 
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:02 pm Reply with quote

Okay, let's say that (as I was doing 2 years ago) you develop a stand alone application. It has it's own login screen, it's own users table that may be very different from the nuke_users, it's own security table, a couple of data entry screens and some reports. It doesn't need Nuke to run at all. Heck it probably runs better without it.

Maybe (I didn't get this far) you copyright the application and offer to let others download it for say $100. All okay so far right? You can copyright it and charge for it.

Then you discover Nuke. There's things in Nuke that you'd like your users to be able to use. You look at how modules are structured. Then you consider the effect on your license. Suppose you just link from Nuke to your application by sticking a href in the opening message on the Nuke home page. I think Raven addressed that, no effect on the license. Suppose you look at how Nuke cookies are structured and you see that the email address is in a Nuke cookie. You have an email address in your user table too. So you check the cookie when they go to your application and you see if they are already signed on. Does it screw up your own license if you use one of the Nuke functions in mainfile to check the cookie but not if you write your own routine? Or are you under GPL the second you check the Nuke cookie? Your application still runs on its own after all.

Or do you cross the line if you make your application be a Nuke module? Is just the act of going thru modules.php enough to make your whole license GPL? Suppose you keep your core application stand alone and want to charge for it but you write some software that people can use to "integrate" it with Nuke. Suppose the integration software you make GPL but you keep your standalone "private"? Your application doesn't need Nuke to run but it can run under Nuke. Is it now GPL?

This isn't just theoretical. From what I see Gallery will run standalone or under Nuke. Sweetphp will run under several different CMS's. They aren't dependent on Nuke but they will run with it. Is it just the act of running with it that makes them GPL.
 
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kguske
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Posts: 6433

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:14 pm Reply with quote

Just a caution before you quoth the Raven nevermore: Make sure to distinguish the license fee from the download service, labor, documentation, support, hosting, bandwidth, or other costs. But this doesn't seem to be the issue you are concerned with - rather you are concerned with your ability to redistribute code.

Also, make sure the author released it in some form (i.e. if she made it publicly available via download or posting of the code, even for a fee). If the code was developed under contract with no agreement to distribute publicly or with an agreement that it would not be distributed publicly, you could be in trouble if you try to distribute it. That is slightly more specific than djmaze's statement that any code developed for use with PHP-Nuke can be distributed.

In the djmaze / Guardian2003 theme example, if you and djmaze agreed that the theme could be released or there was no agreement that it would not be released, you could distribute it. But no one could force djmaze to distribute a theme he created for his own use just because it only works with PHP-Nuke, nor could they force him or allow you to distribute code that was developed under an agreement not to be made public, regardless of whether or not in only ran under PHP-Nuke.

If it will run under different CMSs, you can charge a license for it and distribute it under a different license. But this is a grey area: what distinguishes one CMS from another? Is RavenNuke a different CMS than PHP-Nuke or PostNuke? Is Joomla different from Mambo?

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