[arch-general] Distribution license of package information on the website?

Jonathon Fernyhough jonathon at manjaro.org
Wed May 30 23:29:49 UTC 2018

On 29/05/18 18:27, Giancarlo Razzolini via arch-general wrote:
> Well, I never thought about licensing PKGBUILD's. Honestly, I don't
> think we need a license.

As a data point, Debian packaging files contain a debian/copyright [1]
file which allows the package maintainer to specify a license for the
packaging files (debian/*). (Generally things under debian/* are, or
perhaps default to, GPL 2 as per the template.)

As things are, contributors/maintainers have to license the use of their
work in some way otherwise packages couldn't be built from the packaging
files; packaging files are still "IP" therefore probably should be licensed.

The AUR in particular is interesting as there's nothing I can see that
specifies that the user-submitted packaging files are available for
"free" use and which prevents me from slapping a restrictive
distribution license on them and trying to charge for their
use/redistribution/whatever. (And e.g. what happens if the package is
adopted to [community]? Could I say I wanted payment because Arch gained
the benefit of my work?)

(IANAL but I /am/ a pessimist)

[1] https://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/copyright-format/1.0/

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