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Created March 28, 2012 00:22
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Licensing discussion with the creators of SASS
From: Calvin Tennant
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Subject: phpSass licensing
To: Nathan Weizenbaum <>
Cc: Hampton <>, Chris Eppstein <>
Awesome, I'm going to make a pastebin of this email just for records sake. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2012, Nathan Weizenbaum <> wrote:
> It's important to note that we aren't lawyers, nor are we the sole copyright holders of the Sass code. I'm reasonably confident in saying that none of the three of us would complain if you did whatever you wanted with the Sass code, as long as you gave credit where it was due. However, other contributors have submitted code to Sass under the MIT license, and if you violate it they have every right to get angry at you.
> That said, it's my understanding that the MIT requirement that you attach the MIT license and copyright information to "copies or substantial portions" of the original code complies with the GPL3's allowance of "Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or author attributions," so such additional licensing is acceptable. It's also debatable whether PHPSass even constitutes a copy or substantial portion of the original Sass code. So you should be in the clear.
> Again, we are not lawyers.
> - Nathan
> On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM, Hampton <> wrote:
> Calvin-
> Our choice of the MIT license is because we believe in near total freedom of usage of our tool. 
> Our MIT license allows you to "sublicense" our software at will. That is, you can charge for it,
> make it proprietary, make it GPL2, GPL1, GPL3, or possibly excommunicate it from a church.
> Feel free to re-license the fork. 
> The MIT license specifically allows it.
> -hampton.
> On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Hampton <> wrote:
> Calvin-
> Let me touch base with my co-developers and I'll get you a response shortly.
> -hampton.
> On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Calvin Tennant <> wrote:
> Apologies, I didn't intend to send that to your wikimedia address.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Calvin Tennant <>
> Date: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM
> Subject: Re: phpSass licensing
> To: Richard <>
> Cc:
> Alright, I've cc'd Hampton Catlin here.
> Hampton we need phamlp to be available under the GPL license in order to host it on Is this something that you would be willing to coordinate or should we consider a re-write to avoid licensing conflicts?
> Thanks,
> On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Richard <> wrote:
> Hi Calvin,
> We are already using it in a Drupal module called Sassy, although the
> licensing issue is circumvented by including it as a library. This
> does mean that we have an additional module dependency and download
> for the user though.
> I'd suggest trying to get in touch with the original author
> ( - about
> it - if he's willing to convert it to GPLv2+ then all issues are
> solved.
> Even if he isn't, the question remains wether licensing is applicable
> due to heritage or content - if it's content then PHPSass is almost
> wholly rewritten from the original code on
> This is an issue I am interested in solving, so if you need any
> additional help/voices then let me know
> Regards,
> Rich
> On 27 March 2012 15:31, Calvin Tennant <> wrote:
>> I'm not sure how much licensing control you have over
>> (because it started as a branch), but
>> I'm looking to use it as part of a Drupal distribution. The debate between
>> using LESS/SASS has basically boiled down to the fact that LESSPHP has a GPL
>> license and none of the SASS compilers that I have been able to find do.
>> "You can release your work under any GPL version 2 or later compatible
>> license, however, you may only check it into Drupal's Git repositories if
>> you are releasing it under the same license as Drupal i
Calvin Tennant
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