[aur-general] AUR & Copyright

Peter Lewis plewis at aur.archlinux.org
Mon Feb 7 06:59:06 EST 2011

On Monday 07 February 2011 11:23:01 Ray Rashif wrote:
> 2011/2/7 Lukáš Jirkovský <l.jirkovsky at gmail.com>:
> > I don't think it matters whether PKGBUILDs are software or not.
> It never did, but now it does :)
> > That sounds to me like saying "all bash scripts have to be under GPL,
> > because BASH is licensed under GPL".
> If you want to look at it that way, then sure.

Yeah, I can't see that there's any such /requirement/ for PKGBUILDs to be GPL 
just because bash is, but it does make sense to me that they should be. Most 
other Arch owned stuff is GPL, right?

This also avoids the need to transfer ownership of the copyright to Arch, 
although doing so would make it easier to (for example) relicence under GPL 4 
or somesuch at a later date. The FSFE developed the Fiduciary Licence 
Agreement (FLA) just for this kind of thing:


As an aside, I wonder how many people can really claim to be the original 
authors of the work in the PKGBUILD? I for sure usually copy and paste the 
software's build instructions from upstream's website or README, and then 
modify it to work with Arch / fit in the PKGBUILD functions. This sounds like 
derivative work anyway, to me.

But then, which insane upstream person is going to put any restrictions on 
people sharing instructions for building their software?

My vote would just be for using GPL or BSD for them (possibly with an FLA-
style copyright assignment). GPL seems sensible, because everything else is 
GPL too. The problem with assigning ownership to Arch without an explicit 
agreement about how, is that technically Arch could then stop the submitter of 
the PKGBUILD from distributing what he wrote :-/ The FLA avoids this, AFAICT.


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