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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict ruba's Avatar
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    Unhappy I help to understand GNU/GPL License.

    Hi all,

    I am using joomla in my websites , I want to remove joomla keyword from the CMS

    I read the GNU/GPL license but I don't understand if I can remove it or no.

    Can I remove it from user pages , and admin pages ???

    thanks
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  2. #2
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    It's fine.

    The GPL means that the makers of the software cannot impose restrictions on the way the software can behave. If the software displays advertisements such as the words 'Powered by Joomla' or the word 'Joomla' all over the place you are free to remove these. Same with the Joomla logo or the word 'Joomla' appearing in metadata. It's not adware. Joomla cannot release the software to you under the GPL and still require that you maintain these notices.

    The GPL is more concerned with how you distribute your modified version of the program to other people. If you distribute your modified version, you must also redistribute the source code, and the source code must retain all original copyright notices including those mentioned by Joomla and all other original authors.

    The one grey area in the GPL is section 2c of the GPL. This states, in a way, that if there is a copyright notice that is displayed by the program in the process of starting up, then this copyright notice must remain in any modified version, although it may be altered or replaced by another appropriate copyright notice. I am unsure about whether a web application would be affected by this. I believe that what the browser receives is actually the output from the application, rather than what the application displays to the application owner (in this case the system admin or webmaster) while running the application on the server.

    However, there are some people out there that interpret this to mean that even the output of a program is also subject, ie if your program were to generate a web site, this web site must retain a copyright notice. I believe this is actually wrong and is a misinterpretation of the GPL or the way a web application works. I believe that the pages displayed to an end user by a web application were generated by the web application in the same way that the pages output by an image editor were generated by the image editor. The person seeing the HTML pages generated by the web application shouldn't be forced to see a copyright notice applying to the web application, just as the person viewing an image produced by an image editor shouldn't be forced to see a copyright notice applying to the image editing application. Only the person directly interacting with the software, which happens to produce these pages or images, should be forced to see such a copyright notice. This, I believe, would apply to any administration screens within a CMS or any messages the CMS sends to STDOUT or mails to the administrator, or the interface of the image editing application.

    Fortunately, the developers of Joomla agree with my interpretation, and the Joomla license FAQ below clearly shows that yes, you are welcome to remove any mention of Joomla from the HTML pages that Joomla produces, including any Joomla copyright notices.
    http://dev.joomla.org/content/view/2336/102/

    By contrast, developers of other CMSs such as PHPNuke take what I believe to be an incorrect view of the GPL, stating that all copyright notices must remain and be seen by all viewers of the HTML pages it generates, and that they should not be altered, and that even links within the copyright notice should be preserved. This kind of restriction is clearly not allowed by the GPL; even if you do interpret section 2c to apply to the HTML pages generated by a CMS, the way the copyright notice is displayed may still be altered somehow and there is no way the software maker can restrict how it appears, such as retaining a hyperlink. Even though I believe this is not enforceable by the license, it is worth noting that more 'restrictive' interpretations of the GPL than mine and Joomla's do exist, in which copyright notices in the program's output are an issue, and it is yet to be seen how a judge would view such an issue when related to a web application.
    Last edited by mmj; Mar 23, 2008 at 06:42.
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