[arch-dev-public] License updates (was: rebuilding the whole core repo)

Dan McGee dpmcgee at gmail.com
Mon Oct 22 09:43:08 EDT 2007

On 10/22/07, Travis Willard <travisw at wmpub.ca> wrote:
> On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 15:00:59 +0200, Damir Perisa wrote
> > Sunday 21 October 2007, Travis Willard wrote:
> >  | If we're feeling REALLY ambitious, this would be a great time to
> >  | fix all the licenses in our packages - we still have over 1000 bad
> >  | licenses in extra - attached file shows packages that need work.
> >
> > good idea... regarding your list i have some items:
> >
> > * we should have the MIT licence in our common licences folder
> >
> > * we should add all possible CC licences in our common licences
> > folder ... maybe informing creative commons that we support their
> > full scheme of licencing in our licence handling (public relations,
> > networking *g*)
> Regarding the above two, I'm all for adding common licenses (MIT, CC) to the
> licenses package, provided we can - I remember some licenses that are pretty
> common actually differ in their text from package to package (ie. the devs of
> the software need to add their own info for copyrights or something) - we can't
> really provide a common license for those.

For BSD, MIT, etc. the difference is that the license text changes
based on the package, unlike the GPL which has the same text always.

I know for BSD we are supposed to (according to the wiki page) list
the license as 'BSD' but still include the text of the license. I
would think the same applies for MIT and anything else where the text

I've kind of taken ownership of the licenses package, so feel free to
shoot me suggestions as to what should be included and I'll gladly
update it.

> > * LGPL2 = LGPL2.1 ? and if some pkg uses 2.0? our LGPL2 is indeed the
> > 2.1 version
> How significant are the differences between 2.0 and 2.1?  Isn't our GPL2 license
> 2.1 as well?

I would say yes, they are in fact equivalent.

> > * some pkgs have licence-formatting issues (Apache instead of APACHE
> > or gpl instead of GPL ... we change the formating? licences are
> > all-caps always?)

It seems the precident is for common licenses, list them as all caps-
of course, this makes sense for things that are abbreviations such as
the GPL but not so much for APACHE. I'd be up for change, but we
*really* need to document this. Our wiki article should have hard and
fast guidelines for things like this.

> The script I used to generate that list checked, for each license in licenses,
> is it "custom"?  If not, then does a folder structure exist at
> /usr/share/licenses/common/${license}?  If no, then it's invalid.  Since the
> folders in /usr/share/licenses/common are capitalized, I think the entries in
> the license array should be as well.

Looking at it this way, caps seems stupid for licenses unless it is
intended to be that way (e.g. GPL, BSD).

There are a few other sticky issues, such as whether BSD/MIT should be
listed as 'BSD' or 'custom:BSD' (I know I've read somewhere that we
should use the former, which I agree with- it is a standard license,
but the text differs between packages).


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