[Phpmyadmin-devel] tcpdf and licensing

Marc Delisle marc at infomarc.info
Sun Jan 29 12:44:03 CET 2012

Le 2012-01-29 06:41, Madhura Jayaratne a écrit :
> On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 9:02 PM, Isaac Bennetch<bennetch at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> On 12/16/2011 10:26 AM, Marc Delisle wrote:
>>> Isaac Bennetch a écrit :
>>>> Greetings,
>>> Hi Isaac,
>>> see the reply from Nicola Asuni (TCPDF) in our bug tracker:
>> https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=377408&aid=3460857&group_id=23067
>> Thanks, sorry for the noise here, then. Apparently jimmik posted the bug
>> around the same time ChrisWi came to IRC; since the tracker has more
>> existing discussion let's continue the conversion there.
>>>> As you might recall from the PHPExcel licensing discussion
>>>> (https://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=27884122) the
>>>> Fedora people were investigating a possible licensing concern with the
>>>> tcpdf library we bundle. Nothing has come of that with Fedora, but
>>>> apparently the SuSE people have found something they don't like. The
>>>> user ChrisWi asked about it in the IRC channel and provided a link to
>>>> their bugtracker: https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=736698 --
>>>> which requires a login, so he also provided the following text summary:
>>>> ** begin paste **
>>>> phpMyAdmin (and presumably many earlier versions as well)
>> contains
>>>> tcpdf. This package claims to be LGPL-3.0+ licensed but contains the
>>>> following
>>>> clause:
>>>> Additionally,
>>>> As the LGPL-3.0+ incorporates by reference the GPL-3.0+, sections 7 and
>>>> 10 of
>>>> the GPL-3.0+ are relevant:
>>>> All other non-permissive additional terms are considered "further
>>>> restrictions" within the meaning of section 10.  If the Program as you
>>>> received it, or any part of it, contains a notice stating that it is
>>>> governed by this License along with a term that is a further
>>>> restriction, you may remove that term.  If a license document contains
>>>> a further restriction but permits relicensing or conveying under this
>>>> License, you may add to a covered work material governed by the terms
>>>> of that license document, provided that the further restriction does
>>>> not survive such relicensing or conveying.
>>>> Accordingly, it may be possible to point out to tcpdf upstream that the
>>>> additional term that they apply may be viewed as a 'non-permissive
>>>> restriction'
>>>> and that you wish to exercise your rights under the GPL-3.0+ to remove
>> that
>>>> term from downstream distributions.
>>>> If upstream are unwilling to engage in meaningful discussion or take the
>>>> view
>>>> that the additional restriction is per se not part of the license
>>>> because it is
>>>> above the license and not incorporated into it, tcpdf should be dropped.
>>>> ** end paste **
>>>> Now again, as I'm sure you're aware, we're not responsible for making
>>>> the distributions happy, but it's also in our best interest to try to
>>>> resolve these things. Looks to my non-lawyer eye like this is something
>>>> to push back on the tcpdf folks. Again, if I'm understanding correctly,
>>>> the problem is the additional line added that "YOU CAN'T REMOVE ANY
>>>> Additionally, Google provides a lot of results of people questioning
>>>> this.
>> https://sourceforge.net/projects/tcpdf/forums/forum/435311/topic/3757478
>>>> seems to be the best discussion. A discussion regarding the inclusion in
>>>> Tiki Wiki
>>>> (
>> http://projects.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss/2011-November/000028.html
>> )
>>>> went so far as to bring up the dubious legal position of putting a
>>>> (tcpdf) copyright notice on the work of others.
>>>>    From the tcpdf forums link, it appears the author has no interest in
>>>> changing this. To be fair to tcpdf, the only place I see his notice in
>>>> the generated PDF is the "PDF Producer" field of the file properties. I
>>>> think that's reasonable, but I think the part that concerns the SuSE
>>>> folks is the having a non-OSI-endorsed clause appended to a license; if
>>>> every project would do that it would be a nightmare to maintain. But
>>>> that's just my interpretation.
>>>> I've signed up for a Novell account, but I'm still not authorized to
>>>> view the bug report directly. At the moment, aside from the gentleman in
>>>> IRC, we have no line of communication to them or way of getting updates
>>>> on their internal discussion.
>>>> Thanks for your thoughts on this...
>>>> ~isaac
> As mentioned in the tracker [1] TCPDF in its latest version(5.9.145) has
> removed the additional clause in its licence. Shall we update  QA_3_5 to
> use the latest version? Or only the master should be updated?

I was even thinking appropriate to update MAINT_3_4_10 and QA_3_4 !

Marc Delisle

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